Solar Impulse’s HB-SIA obtains two new world records

Solar Impulse’s first prototype airplane has been accorded two new world records in the category of experimental solar airplane by the Fédération Aéronautique International (FAI) during this year’s Crossing Frontiers mission flights which connected Europe to North Africa.

The records (subclass: solar-powered aeroplane) both concern the first leg of the mission, from Payerne (Switzerland) to Madrid (Spain). The first record was obtained in the category of “Free Distance along a Course” - a distance from point A to point B without a predefined itinerary. The second record has a stricter objective: “Straight Distance, Pre-Declared Waypoints” - where waypoints overflown en route on the way from Payerne to Madrid need to be pre-announced before takeoff.

Two observers were called from the Swiss Aero Club located in Lucerne during the flight from Payerne to Madrid to document the record attempt. One observer joined the Mission Control Center (MCC) to follow the flight progress and to confirm that Solar Impulse remained airborne at all times. The second observer was embedded in the ground crew and awaited the aircraft in Madrid to verify the battery status after landing.

Once HB-SIA was safely on the ground at Madrid-Barajas airport, air traffic controllers of the towers in Payerne and Madrid had to sign official take-off and landing documents. Together with data from two GPS loggers in the aircraft and a number of additional information to support the record attempt, the information was forwarded to the Swiss Aero Club for homologation. Once the two Swiss national records were granted to André, the results were thereafter forwarded and confirmed by FAI as “Experimental and New Technology World Records: Solar-Powered Aeroplanes”.

After setting three world records during the Solar Night Flight on 8.7.2010 for maximum altitude (9235m), duration (26h10m19s) and gain of height (8744m), Solar Impulse now officially holds five world records.

Solar Impulse’s first prototype airplane has been accorded two new world records in the category of experimental solar airplane by the Fédération Aéronautique International (FAI) during this year’s Crossing Frontiers mission flights which connected Europe ...



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