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Night-Flight Gains 3 World Records

The completion of what was ruled-out as impossible by many was not only a great achievement for the Solar Impulse founders and team of engineers, but it’s living proof for the project’s skeptics that the HB-SIA can indeed fly powered only by solar energy, and for 26-hours nonetheless!

Piloted by André, HB-SIA whooshed through the skies. From afar it looked like a giant bird advancing with extreme nonchalance but the reality was very different. From inside the cockpit, André was well aware of the physical strain of staying awake 24 hours. In addition to the challenges of managing the ultra-light aircraft through gusts of alpine winds, André’s water source froze at high altitude. The team on the ground was tense as they feared the worst: not completing the world’s first solar night flight. But to their delight, André landed at the Payerne airfield 26 hours 10 minutes later looking as fresh as can be. Aside from the 5 o’clock shadow he was in better shape than the rest of the team!

This historic moment on 8 July 2010 resulted in, not one, not two, but three world records for HB-SIA and its pilot! The prototype aircraft was awarded records (in “Solar-Powered Aeroplane” category) for “Gain of Height” (8744m), “Duration” (26h 10min 19s) and “Absolute Altitude” (9235m).

Congratulations to HB-SIA, André Borschberg and the entire Solar Impulse team for the wonderful achievement!

The completion of what was ruled-out as impossible by many was not only a great achievement for the Solar Impulse founders and team of engineers, but it’s living proof for the project’s skeptics that the HB-SIA can indeed fly powered only by solar energy, and for 26-hours nonetheless!

Piloted by André, HB-SIA ...



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