Swiss pilot André Borschberg completed last Friday a 72 hours flight simulation that started in Dübendorf (Switzerland) on Tuesday 21st February.
The project was launched by Solar Impulse and this is one of the trials before the round-the-world solar energy powered flight, now under construction and scheduled for 2014. The solar powered aircraft simulator was tested and evaluated throughout the flight by the Solar Impulse team. The pilot, also co-founder and CEO of Solar Impulse, took 32 naps of 20 minutes each during the 72 hours he spent inside the cockpit. Once outside the cabin, he explained in a press conference that the simulation “demonstrated that our concept of flying single-handed for several days in a row is viable.”
Their first prototype of a photovoltaic panels powered airplane was tested in July 2010, providing the first uninterrupted flight of 24 hours. It was powered only by its solar panels – the wings were covered with 12,000 solar cells- and four electric motors.
As said before, the next prototype will be ready in 2014. The new pv solar panels aircraft will round the world in five stages, with two pilots – André Borschberg and also Bertrand Piccard – relaying each other at each stage.
If you want to know more about that or also follow them in this exciting project, have a look to Solar Impulse Blog and enjoy!