Green Design

First Night Flight Using Solar Energy On the Horizon

At this stage the solar panels have not yet been connected. With the positive conclusion of this initial “flea hop”, the Solar Impulse HB-SIA will now be dismantled and transported to the airfield at Payerne. Starting in early 2010, the aircraft will be making its first solar test flights, gradually increasing flight duration until it makes its first night flight using solar energy.

The results from the HB-SIA and their analysis will serve to develop and build a second aircraft, the HB-SIB for circumnavigating the word in five stages - each lasting several days - in 2012.

"For over ten years now, I have dreamt of a solar aircraft capable of flying day and night without fuel - and promoting renewable energy. Today, our plane took off and was airborne for the very first time. This is an unbelievable and unforgettable moment," said Bertrand Piccard, President of Solar Impulse. Piccard is also an aeronaut, and made the first non-stop round-the-world balloon flight.

(Solar Impulse)