Technology

Solar-Powered Aircraft Travel Around the World

After nine months brake wrapped in a hangar solar plane from Hawaii is ready to go again. Now with new batteries and one of the most difficult stages of circumnavigation. If the weather cooperates will flight +9k km on single charge.

With breakdowns, flight pioneer Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg live from the outset. Especially bad weather played repeatedly on them when trying to fly around the world in a purely solar-powered aircraft. But the biggest problem raised after the most successful 8900 kilometer of journey from Japan to Hawaii, which lasted exactly 117 hours and 52 minutes, the batteries overheat the “Solar Impulse 2” totally, the damage was irreparable.

 

Solar-Powered Aircraft
Engineers have installed a newly developed battery system on the solar plane, who has wintered in a hangar at Kalealoa airport, Hawaii. Photo: Solar Impulse

Quickly, it was also clear that changing batteries would last longer than the rest of the season, the pilot had to spend the winter in Hawaii. The break seems not only to have the aircraft, but the whole team there. “We have used the time to rebuild the strong spirit in the team to continue this adventure. Sometimes It takes more than development and new technologies”, Borschberg says today.

New cooling system protects the batteries

Since February a test pilot completed 13 test flights, which went all well. Especially the new cooling system designed to prevent a renewed overheating of the batteries did a grate job, inform team.

Piccard and Borschberg also repeatedly rose to training flights. Piccard will take over the next stage of the world tour at the wheel. The 5000 kilometers using solar panels flight must go well, pulses 2 will be in the air to reach North America.

With breakdowns, the flight pioneer Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg live from the outset. Especially bad weather has played repeatedly a trick on them when trying to fly in a purely solar-powered aircraft around the world. Biggest problem surfaced after the to date most successful: with the 8900-kilometer journey from Japan to Hawaii, which lasted exactly 117 hours and 52 minutes, the batteries overheat the “Solar Impulse 2” totally, the damage was irreparable.


Video source: Solar Impulse

Quickly, it was also clear that changing batteries would last longer than the rest of the season — the pilot had to spend the winter in Hawaii. The break seems not only to have the aircraft, but the whole team well done. “We have used the time to rebuild the strong spirit in the team to continue this adventure. It takes sometimes more than the development of new technologies”, Borschberg says today.

New cooling system protects the batteries

In February test pilot completed 13 flights, all good. Especially the new cooling system, which is designed to prevent a renewed overheating of the batteries have proved itself, inform team.

Piccard and Borschberg also repeatedly rose to training flights. Piccard will take over the next stage of the world tour at the wheel. And it also is not without. The 5000 kilometers the solar must stay again pulses 2 in the air to reach North America.

Both eyes have the goal in any case: in an airplane fuel need not drop to circumnavigate the entire globe. Not as a model for the global air transport of the future, yes never lightweight pilots to conduct with which will be, but as evidence of the power of renewable energy. Or, as it says Piccard with more pathos: “The most important purpose of this adventure is to show that modern clean technologies make the impossible possible.”