Latest Solar Impulse Project Stories

2011-06-11 07:37:34

A Swiss solar-powered aircraft will make a second international flight from Brussels to Paris on Saturday, where its creators will show off the aircraft at the 49th international air show at Le Bourget, which runs from June 20 to 26. The Solar Impulse HB-SIA, a lightweight plane with a wingspan the size of a commercial airliner, made history when, in July 2010, became the first manned plane to fly around the clock and throughout the night solely on energy built up from the Sun. Solar...

2011-05-13 11:15:00

Solar Impulse HB-SIA, the first Swiss solar-powered aircraft, once again took flight this week, but this time on an international journey from Switzerland to Belgium. In 2010 the experimental emissions-free aircraft set a record for the longest flight by a manned solar-powered airplane, reports AFP. Solar Impulse stayed aloft above Switzerland for 26 hours, 10 minutes and 19 seconds, and also set a record for altitude at 30,298 feet. Since then, the aircraft has flown several more times,...

2010-10-29 09:55:00

The July flight of a solar-powered plane built in Switzerland officially set a trio of world records, authorities with the International Aeronautical Federation (FAI) confirmed on Friday. The Ó°cole Polytechnique F©d©rale de Lausanne's (EPFL) Solar Impulse prototype aircraft began its record-setting flight on July 7 and was flown by pilot Andr© Borschberg. During the journey, the Solar Impulse set records for absolute altitude (9,235 meters or 30,298...

2010-09-23 05:50:00

Switzerland's Solar Impulse aircraft made its first cross-country flight on Wednesday, a new achievement by the solar plane following a historic 24-hour flight back in July. Air traffic was stopped at Zurich international airport as the plane made touchdown after its journey from a military base in Payerne 170 miles away. During its flight it achieved altitudes of 500 to 1,000 feet and speeds close to 30 miles per hour, a spokeswoman said. "This is a training for the team, for the airport"...

2010-09-08 06:40:00

The Solar Impulse team, which successfully conducted a round-the-clock flight powered only by the sun, said Tuesday it will next plan three test flights across Switzerland as it prepares the plane for longer journeys. "Solar Impulse HB-SIA, the solar-powered aircraft... will undertake three flights, Payerne-Geneva, Geneva-Zurich and Zurich-Payerne, with no fuel," the team said in a statement. The team hopes the tests will "contribute to opening a new era of aviation." The plane will first...

2010-07-08 12:05:00

A solar-powered aircraft made the history books on Thursday after flying for 26 hours using the sun's energy alone. The experimental Solar Impulse aircraft landed at Payerne airbase in western Switzerland about three hours after daybreak. "It's the first time ever that a solar airplane has flown through the night," said team chief Bertrand Piccard, the Swiss adventurer who masterminded the project. "That was the moment that proved the mission was successful, we made it," said Piccard, who...

2010-07-01 13:30:00

A solar-powered plane set to fly through the night Thursday was grounded after a technical glitch was found, leaving the Solar Impulse crew with just weeks to find perfect weather for the flight. "We are under stress and we hope everything will work," said Bertrand Piccard, the venture's founder and previously the first balloonist to circumnavigate the globe. Solar Impulse aborted its plans for the historic 25-hour flight just an hour before take off by pilot Andre Borschberg from a military...

2010-06-30 05:35:00

The high-tech prototype of a groundbreaking Swiss initiative to fly around the world using solar energy will take to the skies this Thursday in the first attempt at a solar-powered night flight, the AFP news agency reported. The single-seater Solar Impulse aircraft, which boasts the 208-foot wingspan of a large Airbus A340 jet but weighs only 3,500 pounds, will take off from Payerne airbase in western Switzerland. "The situation continues to look good and the likelihood of seeing the HB-SIA...

2010-04-07 09:00:00

A prototype of a sun-powered plane successfully completed its first test flight on Wednesday, staying airborne for 1 1/2 hours as it moves one step closer to becoming the first solar aircraft to circumnavigate the globe. The Solar Impulse, which was designed by a team captained by Swiss pilot and adventurer Bertrand Piccard, launched from a runway located at a military airfield near Payerne, Switzerland. According to Associated Press (AP) reports, the lightweight 747-sized craft needed only a...

Word of the Day
  • A terrible or repulsive person.
Regarding the etymology of 'humgruffin,' the OED says (rather unhelpfully) that it's a 'made-up word.' We might guess that 'hum' comes from 'humbug' or possibly 'hum' meaning 'a disagreeable smell,' while 'gruffin' could be a combination of 'gruff' and 'griffin.'