Swiss solar plane to fly to Morocco

2011-07-03 19:53

Geneva - The pilot at the helm of the world's most advanced solar-powered plane said on Sunday he hopes to take the prototype across the Mediterranean next year before attempting a round-the-world flight in 2014.

Andre Borschberg said the plane's recent round trip to Belgium and France had encouraged the Solar Impulse team to consider flying the aircraft to Morocco in 2012.

"We'd like to be able to do flights of a duration of two days, two nights, which is a big challenge for only one person on board," he told The Associated Press by satellite link-up while flying back from Paris to the plane's home base in Payerne, Switzerland.

Last year, Borschberg completed a marathon 26-hour non stop test to demonstrate that the 12 000 solar cells attached to its 63m wingspan can soak up enough sunlight to keep the four-engine plane airborne through the night.

The Mediterranean flights will be a major challenge for the engineers and the pilot, as the lightweight design is very sensitive to air turbulence. If the 1 931km journey from Switzerland to Morocco is successful, the team will attempt to fly the prototype onward to Turkey before returning home, Borschberg said.

Meanwhile, a second, sturdier aircraft is already in the works.

The second plane will begin flight testing in 2013 in preparation for its planned circumnavigation of the globe a year later.

Again, there will be no passengers on board, Borschberg said. The ultra-efficient design of the aircraft, which has a top speed of only 120km/h, means all additional ballast needs to be avoided.

"People understand that we are not going to fly solar and be able to transport passengers using solar energy collected by the aircraft anytime soon," said Borschberg, as he circled Lake Neuchatel and the Jura mountains on the French-Swiss border before his descent to Payerne.

Still, the insights gained from designing and flying an aircraft that could stay in the air indefinitely - were it not for the needs of its human pilot - are significant, Borschberg said.

"There is definitely a need for the technology to reduce the energy consumption" of planes, cars and other means of transportation, he said.

- AP

Read more on:    switzerland  |  solar
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Wednesday Newlands - 13:00 PM
    Road name: M3 Southbound
    SLOW TRAFFIC approaching the Newlands Avenue exit
  • Wednesday Bakoven - 12:59 PM
    Road name: Victoria Road Northbound
    DELAYS between Oudekraal and Bakoven
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Junior Developer

Western Cape
Progressive IT Resourcing (Pty) Ltd
R15000 - R20000

Transformation Specialist

Western Cape
Definitive Recruitment
Market Related

Digital Web Master

Western Cape
O'Brien Recruitment
R25000 - R30000

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Torch 9810

The BlackBerry Torch 9810 gives you the powerful combination of...

From R2820.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may find yourself fascinated by something which could draw you in to obsessively exploring this subject in depth....read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.