September 23, 2010
By Alton K. Marsh
The baby steps taken by the Swiss battery-powered airplane Solar Impulse on its way to a nonstop flight around the world are getting longer. Two cross-country flights were completed recently at speeds of 25 to 29 knots.
The prototype, piloted by André Borschberg, flew from Payerne to Geneva International Airport before returning to its base in Payerne. It then made a second flight to Zurich and back.
“These flights are just amazing. Thanks to the airplane’s low speed, I was able to discover Switzerland from a completely new angle, fully taking in the beauty of our country,” said André Borschberg, CEO and co-founder of Solar Impulse. He and Bertrand Piccard head the Solar Impulse project.
Piccard, president and initiator of Solar Impulse, is using the project as a learning experience for children. Online lectures are available to schools wishing to take part.
The next major milestones for Solar Impulse are international flights scheduled for next year, the trans-Atlantic flight in 2012, and the circumnavigation of the world in 2013 using a second prototype entering development this fall.
Aircraft Power and Fuel,
Pilot Safety and Skills
Takeoff is consistently the phase of flight with the second-highest number of pilot-related accidents.
A student pilot flying a single-engine trainer at modest altitudes has different weather-information needs than a corporate pilot planning a trip in the flight levels. But before either aviator can plan a route or make a proper go/no-go decision, both need a macro view of the weather.
December 13, 2013, AOPA ePilot: Flight Training Edition
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