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Solar Impulse is the only airplane of perpetual endurance, able to fly day and night on solar power, without a drop of fuel. Our challenge is to attempt the First Round-The-World Solar Flight in 2015. A way for Bertrand Piccard, André Borschberg and their team to demonstrate how pioneering spirit, innovation and clean technologies can change the world.
Solar Impulse is (...) able to fly day and night on solar power
From airplane to glidder
For more than four hours, the plane flew without any
electricity, slowly gliding downwards. Such energy is called
potential energy. The higher the plane climbs, the longer its
descent. At the beginning of the night, however, HB-SIA lost
altitude faster than expected. But thanks to the Mission
team’s instructions, the pilot was able to avoid areas of
down winds and extend his glide. Around midnight, the
aircraft was at 4’500 feet, slightly less than 1’500 m, the
altitude it needed to maintain until sunrise. André
Borschberg then switched-on the battery power. The surplus
electricity accumulated during the day now served to power
originally posted by: Glassbender777
Im just wondering what kind of applications this could be used for, besides the typical military spying. It would want to stay pretty light if its gliding while at night. What they should of done, was set off in the morning, and chased the sun their whole trip, never letting the sun set on the solar glider.