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Solar Impulse aircraft looks for space solutions
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- Title Solar Impulse aircraft looks for space solutions
- Released 05/05/2006 2:34 pm
- Copyright Artist concept: Oxyde.de-Sapristi / EPFL – Solar Impulse
The Solar Impulse aircraft will be designed to fly around the world powered only by solar energy. It will be constructed using ultra-light materials and be able to fly during the night on batteries charged during the day. The aircraft will fly at an altitude of 10 000 to 11 000 metres above clouds to capture all available sunlight. It will resemble a glider with a 70-metre wide wingspan and will use propeller engines powered by solar-generated electricity. Bertrand Piccard and Brian Jones, together with pilot and engineer André Borschberg, will fly the Solar Impulse aircraft. The first test flight is scheduled for 2008 and the target is to fly round-the-world flight in 2010. ESA is assisting by making available European space technologies and expertise through its Technology Transfer Programme.