“What initially looked like an issue, later turned out to be a unique opportunity”. After the wing spar of the second airplane (HB-SIB) broke, which was planned to be used for the around-the-world mission flights, the mission was postponed to 2014-2015. This change of plan became an opportunity to present the Solar Impulse technology to America.
With the prototype HB-SIA, the team will during 2013 fly across the USA. The plane will be crossing the United States from West Coast to East Coast this spring/summer. First, the HB-SIA is being taken apart in Payerne and will be shipped to San Francisco by Jumbo Jet which was the only way to transport such a light and fragile aircraft.
The HB-SIA has not been tasted and constructed for across ocean flights and this is why it was not an option to fly to America. The next generation the HB-SIB, whose construction is currently underway in Dübendorf, will have more advanced design features – including a more comfortable cockpit, – which will be crucial for the success of the around-the-world endeavor. You can find further details through a series of articles on the construction of Solar Impulse’s second generation airplane, HB-SIB (Check out the first 3 articles here http://www.solarimpulse.com/en/tag/Making-of). On the other hand, in Lausanne the marketing, communications and multimedia teams make all necessary preparation for the 2013 team “liaising with politicians, entrepreneurs, Universities and American media while ensuring the website and social networks remain dynamic and up-to-date”.
The “Across America 2013” mission couldn’t be possible without the support of loyal partners like Solvay, Schindler, Bayer MaterialScience and SwissRe Corporate Solutions which allow the project to conquer new horizons although the difficulties and the rebuilding of the wing spar were initially announcing bad news.
See more detailed information on the plane and the team on:http://www.solarimpulse.com/
Solar Impulse official website: http://www.solarimpulse.com/
Press Release 11/02/2013
- Bern to support Solar Impulse (worldradio.ch)
- Solar powered airplane will fly across US this year (infogreenglobal.com)
- Coming to America: a Swiss solar powered plane [GigaOM] (gigaom.com)