Engineering Headlines

62 Hours Nonstop on one Pilot! Solar Impulse 2 is reaching Mountain View California

Impulse solar 2 is again in the air. The Swiss Solar plane started yesterday after a long break in Hawaii to the ninth stage of his world tour. Target is mountain view near San Francisco. It should be originally Phoenix in Arizona.

The Swiss Solar plane from Hawaii to California to fly in 62 hours. This is an insanely long time when you consider that there is only one pilot on board. After all, Bertrand Piccard and can take a short NAP, maximum of 20 minutes must be slept in one piece. During this time, the autopilot be used, already helped Piccard pilot colleagues André Borschberg to survive five days and five nights in the cockpit when he flew in from last year Japan from in the 8300 km to Hawaii.

Solar Impulse 2 Mountain View California
Point of no return: since yesterday, Bertrand Piccard with a solar plane Solar Impulse 2 is on the road again. From Hawaii to Mountain View. Scheduled flight time: 62 hours. Piccard can take only 20 min brakes for a quick naps. Photo: Solar Impulse

There, the plane had to remain then spent nine months on the ground, break the circumnavigation. The batteries were damaged and had to be replaced. Again, the weather is playing tricks Due to bad weather, the launch of the solar had to be postponed several times for Impulse 2.

This time he would be almost burst. Strong wind threatened the journey

From California, the solar flies impulses 2 to New York, where a stopover is planned. Then to go back via Europe or North Africa to Abu Dhabi.

The top speed: 140 km/h

Solar plane has a wingspan of 72 meters. A Boeing 747 is content with 60 m. While the jumbo jet on a take-off weight up to 450 tonnes, the solar weighs 2.3 tons pulses 2 just, especially, because it consists largely of fibre-reinforced plastic. The batteries alone have 366 kilograms.

17.248 solar cells power the four electric motors that drive the propellers, with power. The batteries have a power of 15 kilowatts. The solar cells are on a peak output of 50 kilowatts.