Solar Impulse is a Swiss long-range experimental solar-powered aircraft project, and also the name of the project’s two operational aircraft. This Solar Impulse project’s goals were to make the first circumnavigation of Earth by a piloted fixed-wing aircraft using only solar power and to bring attention to clean technologies.
It has the following characteristics:
- Crew: 1
- Length: 22.4 m (73.5 ft)
- Wingspan: 71.9 m (236 ft)
- Height: 6.37 m (20.9 ft)
- Wing area: 17,248 photovoltaic solar cells cover the top of the wings, fuselage and tailplane for a total area of 269.5 m2 (rated at 66 kW peak)
- Powerplant: 4 × electric motors, 4 x 41 kWh lithium-ion batteries (633 kg), providing 13 kW (17.4 hp) each
- Propeller diameter: 4 m (13.1 ft)
- Take-off speed: 36 km/h (22.4 mph)
- Maximum speed: 140 km/h (87 mph)
- Cruise speed: 90 km/h (56 mph) 60 km/h (37 mph) at night to save power
- Service ceiling: 8,500 m (27,900 ft) with a maximum altitude of 12,000 meters (39,000 ft)
And, on the 26th of July 2016, at early hours in the morning, this solar powered plane made a history on our society. This is the first ever solar-powered plane to complete an epic around the world trip with 17 legs. it was piloted by Bertrand Piccard which starts the journey from the following courses/routes:
Flight 1: Abu Dhabi to Muscat
Flight 2: Muscat to Ahmedabad
Flight 3: Ahmedabad to Varanasi
Flight 4: Varanasi to Mandalay
Flight 5: Mandalay to Chongqing
Flight 6: Chongqing to Nanjing
Flight 7: Nanjing to Nagoya
Flight 8: Nagoya to Hawaii
Flight 9: Hawaii to San Francisco
Flight 10: San Francisco to Phoenix
Flight 11: Phoenix to Tulsa
Flight 12: Tulsa to Dayton
Flight 13: Dayton to Lehigh Valley
Flight 14: Lehigh Valley to New York
Flight 15: New York to Seville
Flight 16: Seville to Cairo
Flight 17: Cairo to Abu Dhabi
The final leg between Cairo and Abu Dhabi lasted for 48 hours
Experts feared the plane might struggle to complete the last leg from Cairo to the emirate because of extreme 54c temperatures currently blasting Arabia.
But the giant aircraft – powered only by the sun’s rays – finally touched down after the 17th, and final, leg following a 48-hour journey from the Egyptian capital.
Other legs saw the 71 metre-wide plane cross the entire Atlantic Ocean, and cover the Pacific from Japan to Hawaii.
But, in the end this technology was a very successful invention that can help us have a clean environment because this is an environment friendly tech, and can reduce noise polutions.
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IT 314 – Semis