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Solar Impulse 2, the
#RTW Solar Airplane

Solar Impulse is the only airplane of perpetual endurance, able to fly day and night on solar power, without a drop of fuel.

 

The chances of succeeding at the first attempt to build a solar airplane capable of flying around the world were judged to be slim, so a more rudimentary prototype, HB-SIA, was first constructed. Lessons learned from this prototype are incorporated in Solar Impulse 2, the Round-The-World Solar Airplane.

#DISCOVERSi2

This revolutionary single-seater aircraft made of carbon fiber has a 72 meter wingspan (larger than that of the Boeing 747-8I) for a weight of just 2,300 Kg, equivalent to that of a car.

The 17,000 solar cells built into the wing supply four electric motors (17.5 CV each) with renewable energy.

During the day, the solar cells recharge lithium batteries weighing 633 Kg (2077 lbs.) which allow the aircraft to fly at night and therefore to have virtually unlimited autonomy.

Learn more about the challenges of building the Round-the-World Solar Airplane.

STREETVIEW: INSIDE THE HANGAR

#Testflights

Whereas the prototype uses existing technologies, Solar Impulse HB-SIB requires the development of new materials and new construction methods. Solvay has invented electrolytes that allow the energy density of the batteries to be increased; Bayer MaterialScience is allowing the project to make use of its nanotechnologies; and Décision is using carbon fibers that are lighter in weight than any previously seen.

The first wing spar section was delivered to Dübendorf in March 2012. However, during the final test of this central part, the structure of the wing spar succumbed to the load and broke. The initial shock soon turned out to be an opportunity: the flight around the world had to be postponed which opened the door for going to the United States and completing the epic journey across America.

After the official presentation of Solar Impulse 2 to the public on April 9th, the airplane will be rigorously tested during 2014, and the Round-The-World flight will be attempted between March and July 2015.

Technical Datasheet

Solar Impulse 2's features, in short:

  • Batteries energy density 4 x 260 Wh/kg
  • Airplane Weight 2,3 tons
  • Wingspan 72 meter (236')
  • Solar Cells Thickness 135 micron
  • Solar Cells > 17,000
  • Cockpit Size 3.8 m3

© Rezo.ch | Revillard

Solar Impulse 2 will be present at “Air 14”, the biggest ever airshow in the history of Switzerland.

Take a look at the Round-the-World Solar Airplane and listen to a lecture by Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg every Saturday and Sunday of the air show.

A large crowd is expected at the airfield, so we have set up a "Speedy Boarding" system for our Supporters to enable you to avoid any wait to enter our hangar ...

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Take a look at the Round-the-World Solar Airplane and listen to a lecture by Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg every Saturday and Sunday of the air show.

A large crowd is expected at the airfield, so we have set up a "Speedy Boarding" system for our Supporters to enable you to avoid any wait to enter our hangar (Download it here). You just have to register and print out the entry permit, and then present that at the entrance to the hangar so as to avoid having to queue!


Please note that this entry permit does not exempt you from paying the entry fee for the airshow.

Every weekend, Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg will give a talk from 12:30 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. under the wings of the aircraft. Come along and share their passion!

Opening hours:
Weekend : 07:00- 19:00
Weekdays : 08:00 – 18:00




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