Solar Impulse set for next flight

This week the solar plane is due to take to the skies once again to see how the craft will fare amid other air traffic.

Powered by the sun, the Solar Impulse takes flight.
Powered by the sun, the Solar Impulse takes flight. Solar Impulse/Stephane Gros

Switzerland's Solar Impulse is ramping up for its next flight--this one designed to see how well it plays with other aircraft.

With weather conditions expected to be favorable, Solar Impulse co-founder and pilot Andre Borschberg will fly the solar plane from its home base in Payerne, Switzerland, tomorrow between 8 and 11 a.m. Central European Summer Time and land at Geneva between 12:30 and 1 p.m.

After Borschberg and fellow Solar Impulse founder Bertrand Piccard speak with the media and invited guests for a special information session, Borschberg will pilot the plane back home to Payerne around 3:30 p.m., landing by 6:30 p.m. Then if the weather cooperates, the plane will take off again on Wednesday and head toward Zurich.

The new flight will test the plane to see how it handles itself in the middle of large international airports and busy air traffic. That's a key goal for the project team since the craft will likely have to share air space with much faster and larger jets as its flights become longer. Toward that end, Borschberg will practice take-offs and landings at two of Switzerland's busiest airports.

This latest flight was originally scheduled to take off earlier this month, but bad weather conditions have kept it stuck on the ground. The Solar Impulse completed its first 24-hour day-and-night flight in early July . Next on the agenda is a flight across the Atlantic in 2011, followed by an around-the-world trip in 2012 using the HB-SIB prototype being built this summer.

Tags:
Sci-Tech
About the author

Journalist, software trainer, and Web developer Lance Whitney writes columns and reviews for CNET, Computer Shopper, Microsoft TechNet, and other technology sites. His first book, "Windows 8 Five Minutes at a Time," was published by Wiley & Sons in November 2012.

 

Join the discussion

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Don't Miss
Hot Products
Trending on CNET

HOT ON CNET

Looking for an affordable tablet?

CNET rounds up high-quality tablets that won't break your wallet.