Friday, April 22, 2011

Solar Powered Airplane

With the wingspan of a Boeing 747 and the weight of a car, never before has an airplane as large and light as the 'Solar Impulse' flown before
Solar Impulse' has taken to the air for the first time in the skies over Payerne, Switzerland. Piloted by Markus Scherdel, the completely solar powered craft reached an altitude of 1,200 meters and executed maneuvers designed to test control systems and verify behavior against flight simulator calculations. The aircraft was in the air for 87-minutes before landing safely to the cheers of the 'Solar Impulse' team. It lifted off at a speed no faster than 45 kmh (28 mph) and, once airborne, completed a series of turns by gently tilting its wings that measure 63 meters (208 feet) from tip to tip. The maiden flight under solar power is another step on a long journey that will hopefully see it fly around the world non-stop in 2012