Solar Impulse 2 Ready to Take on the World

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Even while the first Solar Impulse was scaling the Alps, traversing the Moroccan desert, and crossing America, skilled craftsmen and women were designing and building Solar Impulse 2, a larger, heavier solar-powered airplane rolled out this week.  Its next challenge, that of flying around the world, will test the limits of even this seasoned team. As shown on the first Solar Impulse’s flights, “Flying the Solar Impulse aircraft is quite different from being at the commands of any other airplane. Flight tactics, piloting skills, aerodynamics had to be re-learned from scratch.”  Part of the difference comes from the aircraft’s huge size and light weight.  Solar Impulse shares this:  “Here’s a fun fact for you to understand how special this aircraft is: …

72 Hours of Flight, Exercise, Rest, and Hypnosis

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

The first Solar Impulse airplane, HB-SIA, has demonstrated repeatedly that it can stay up all day and all night.  The idea of perpetual flight has enticed designers for years, but the idea of a perpetual pilot has not – until the space age.  Charles Lindbergh had a restless night before his May 20, 1927 takeoff for Europe and spent much of the 33-1/2 hour flight battling his nearly overwhelming need for sleep.  A solar-powered flight will be considerably slower, and thus longer in duration, than Lindbergh’s epic voyage, however. With planned flights for HB-SIB, the second Solar Impulse craft, anticipated to span continents and oceans, the need for maintaining pilot health and alertness becomes imperative. As the team explains, “Over …