Solar Impulse takes off

Today the Solar Impulse HB-SIA will take off for the first time from Payerne. Following ground tests conducted over the last few days and with the weather forecast looking like it should fit the requirements, test pilot Markus Scherdel will be at the prototype’s controls to take the plane up for its first flight.

The objective of today’s mission is to verify that the plane’s flight behaviour is in line with the calculations and simulations done using the flight simulator. With such a large and light plane never having flown before, the aircraft’s flight behaviour remains unexplored.

Early this morning, the Solar Impulse HB-SIA is to be towed out of its hangar and taken to the runway. Flight duration will depend on everything working as it should, but is expected to last around one hour 30 minutes. Flight altitude should reach about 1,000 metres.

To learn more about the Solar Impulse check out issue 7 of How It Works.