Yes, there will be! The aim of the solar impulse plane challenge is to have a pilot in the plane. This is to prove that it is viable and possible to use renewable energy sources in the aviation industry with no adverse consequences to crew or passengers.
Although the actual journey around the world in the solar impulse plane will not take place until 2014, in 2010 Markus Scherdel, the professional test pilot, started doing test flights. He wanted to examine the effectiveness of the solar impulse plane during night flights and also test the planes flight envelope. Then on July 7th, Andre Borschberg conquered a first in night time aviation in a solar plane by flying for 26 hours 10 minutes and 19 seconds. Following that, flights across Switzerland – to Geneva and Zurich, were taken in the month of September.
The focus for 2011 was to create a plane that could withstand the long duration flight needed in order to go around the world. Now it’s just a matter of waiting to see what happens next!
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