Solar aircraft makes successful debut

2014-06-02 13:47
The new experimental solar powered aircraft 'Solar Impulse 2' takes off during its first flight in Payerne, Switzerland. (Laurent Gillieron, AFP)

The new experimental solar powered aircraft 'Solar Impulse 2' takes off during its first flight in Payerne, Switzerland. (Laurent Gillieron, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Payerne - A sun-powered plane made a successful test flight in Switzerland on Monday, clearing a vital hurdle towards its goal of a round-the-world trip next year, its pilot said.

Solar Impulse 2 carried out a flight lasting two hours and 15 minutes, half an hour longer than scheduled, he said.

"Everything worked as expected", German pilot Markus Scherdel told a press conference in Payerne, central Switzerland.

"Of course, we have to do more testing, but it's a good start and I'm looking forward to flying the airplane the next time", he said.

Built from carbon fibre, the 2.3-ton plane has four electrical motors powered by 17 248 solar cells studding its fuselage and 73m wingspan.

Solar Impulse 2

It is the successor of Solar Impulse, a record-breaking craft that in 2010 notched up a 26-hour flight, proving its ability to store enough power during the day to keep flying at night.

The forerunner was put through its paces in Europe, crossed the Mediterranean to reach Morocco and traversed the United States last year without using a drop of fossil fuel.

The goal with Solar Impulse 2 is to fly non-stop for more than 120 hours, five days and five nights enabling it to cross the Pacific and Atlantic on its global flight.

The operation will begin in the United Arab Emirates in March 2015 and circle the globe eastwards, making numerous stops on the way.

Solar Impulse 2
Read more on:    switzerland  |  renewable energy

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X 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
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


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 network.


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.