Swiss test solar-power aircraft for night flight. History is being created inside a hangar in Dubendorf Air Base in Switzerland [ Images ] that will radically change the way an aircraft flies.
The prototype of an aircraft, to be propelled entirely by solar power even at night, has already been successfully tested for a ‘flea hop’ or a short flight.
Scientists and engineers are working full-steam to fly the aircraft around the world for 36 hours through day and night in the spring or summer of 2010, Bertrand Piccard, the driving force behind the Solar Impulse project and its test pilot, told PTI.
“What is being done is not a revolution. We try and open a new path and see what happens. We do not claim that commercial aviation will run on solar energy in the next couple of years. Solar Impulse an attempt to show what can be achieved by renewable energies and new technologies.”
The difference between this aircraft and similar ones developed earlier is that this is being developed to fly at night, Piccard, who created a record by being the first to fly around the world in a hot-air balloon, said.