Solar-powered plane completes flight across America

On July 6, a Swiss aircraft Solar Impulse, which operates entirely on solar energy, landed safely at New York Airport. Its pilots were Bertrand Picard and André Borschberg. It was they who gave rise to a new era in aviation, creating an aircraft capable of flying day and night, without using a single drop of fuel.

Their flight began on May 3 in San Francisco, with stops in Phoenix, Dallas, Fort Worth, St. Louis, Cincinnati and Washington. The aircraft was in the air for a total of 105 hours and 41 minutes and during this time covered a distance of 5530 km with an average speed of 53.34 km / h.

During the flight from Washington to New York, a 2.5 m long tissue tear was formed on the lower surface of the left wing. A helicopter was sent to conduct an inspection, the crew of which made sure that the damage did not pose a danger to the continuation of the flight.

The Solar Impulse team is now looking to build and test the next generation of solar powered aircraft. The HB-SIB will be larger and heavier than its predecessor and will be able to climb up to 12 km. And the improved flight characteristics will allow it to fly safely across the ocean. The test launch of the HB-SIB aircraft is scheduled for early 2014.