Around the World in a Solar Airplane
Solar-powered plane set for pioneering night flight Thursday. Solar impulse Vision; At each major premiere, the adventurers of the last century pushed back the limits of the impossible. Today, human and technical enquiry must go on, with a view to improving the quality of life for humanity. By writing the next pages in the history of aviation with solar energy, as far as a flight around the world without fuel or pollution is concerned, Solar Impulse’s ambition is to contribute in the world of exploration and innovation to the cause of renewable energies. To demonstrate the importance of the new technologies in sustainable development, and of course, once again, to place dream and emotion at the heart of scientific adventure.Challenge; The
adventurers of the last century were constantly pushing back the limits of the impossible. Today, human and technological enquiry must go on, aimed at improving the quality of life on our planet. In building the first solar aircraft able to fly day and night, and piloting it right round the world without fuel or pollution, Solar Impulse’s ambition is for the world of exploration and innovation to contribute to the cause of renewable energies, to demonstrate the importance of the new technologies for sustainable development, and to place dream and emotion back at the heart of scientific adventure.solar impulse & you; Beyond the fabulous challenge of flying an airplane round the world propelled solely by solar energy, Solar Impulse has a global social sense. The Solar Impulse project sets out to promote maximum use of renewable energies in order to safeguard the sustainability of our planet. The ‘Solar Impulse & you’ space on this webside is dedicated to everybody who wishes to act with us in this direction. It is an invitation to share our commitment to unshackle ourselves from fossil energies, to reduce the climate warming effect of our
lifestyles, and to work for the respect of the environment. The night before…It was a little different when I last did the blog for the virtual flight. Whilst that was taken very seriously, we all knew that a ‘virtual incident’ would do us no more harm than a few bruised egos. This time there is so much more at stake and I suppose it is only to be expected that there is an air of uncertainty along with that of anticipation, plus tense excitement of course.Bertrand gave a speech at the main evening team briefing (he’s good at that), in which he pointed out that at last we are in the ‘Mission Phase’ of the project. He congratulated the team for getting us this far and asked, probably needlessly, for their continued professionalism in this next phase.Claude Nicollier, the joint flight director with Raymond Clerc, gave us the ‘go’ as far as weather and the readiness status of the airplane HB-SIA. The planned take off time is 0800 local time tomorrow morning.André told us that whilst he has intellectually prepared himself for this flight over the last seven years, he still does not feel emotionally prepared. I felt really quite moved when clearly he had no words to
express his feelings towards all those who have brought it to this stage and like many of us do in these circumstances had to make a joke to prevent the tears welling up in his eyes.The mission control centre here at Payerne will be manned by two shifts – blue and red (not very original, but maybe reflects the fact that we are guests of the military). Two rooms are used. The main mission control is full of computer displays showing all kinds of exciting stuff. I describe it this way to cover the fact that I’m not exactly sure what all these readouts are. I will study them before coming online tomorrow so by then of course I will be able to offer expert advice. The other room is reserved for “meetings”. This room is completely private and I hope it will not be necessary to have any of these “meetings” during the mission.So here we are, once more on the brink of an historic flight. It is getting past dinner time and I still haven’t had lunch!I’ll speak to you again early tomorrow morning – feel free to wish us luck with a whisper before you go to sleep. news from: solarimpulse.com
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