SOLAR IMPULSE- first aircraft flown overnight on energy collected during the day
Swiss pilot André Borschberg flew the solar- and battery-powered Solar Impulse HB-SIA for 26 hours, 9 minutes and 10 sec, at a height of 28,500 feet before gliding back down and marking the first time any aircraft had flown overnight on energy collected during the day.
The HB-SIA, made largely of carbon fiber, weighs 3,500 pounds, roughly the same as a midsize car. The 208-foot wingspan (and its horizontal tail stabilizer) are covered with 11,628 solar cells that supply electricity to its on board electronics, four the 10-horsepower electric motors. The lithium battery packs take over from the solar panels approximately two hours before dusk.
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