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Category: The Virtual Assembly
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-          Discover, April 2016 issue.

The Solar Impulse Project

Solar Impulseis a Swiss long-rangeexperimentalsolar-powered aircraftproject, and also the name of the project's two operational aircraft. The privately financed project is led by Swiss engineer and businessmanAndré Borschbergand Swiss psychiatrist and aeronautBertrand Piccard. The Solar Impulse project intends to achieve the first circumnavigationof the Earth by a piloted fixed-wing aircraftusing only solar power.

The aircraft are single-seatmonoplanespowered byphotovoltaic cellsand capable of taking off under their own power. The prototype, often referred to asSolar Impulse 1, was designed to remain airborne up to 36 hours.It conducted its first test flight in December 2009. In July 2010, it flew an entirediurnal solar cycle, including nearly nine hours of night flying, in a 26-hour flight. Piccard and Borschberg completed successful solar-powered flights from Switzerland to Spain and then Morocco in 2012,and conducted a multi-stage flight across the United States in 2013.

 In March 2015, Piccard and Borschberg began an attempt to circumnavigate the globe withSolar Impulse 2, departing fromAbu Dhabiin the United Arab Emirates.The aircraft was scheduled to return to Abu Dhabi in August 2015 after a multi-stage journey. By June 2015, the plane had traversed Asia, and in July 2015, it completed the longest leg of its journey, from Japan to Hawaii.During that leg, however, the aircraft's batteries experienced thermal damage that took months to repair. The Solar Impulse resumed the circumnavigation on 21 April 2016 landing nearSan Francisco, California, on April 23. Read more:

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Auteur de “Au nom de tous les miens” – Martin Gray est déeédé.

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