|FROM ||Ruben Safir
|SUBJECT ||Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Pickard Solar Powered Flight
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Date: Thu, 3 Dec 2009 23:52:44 -0500
From: Ruben Safir
Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Pickard Solar Powered Flight
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A Swiss adventurer named Bertrand Piccard has successfully launched and
landed an experimental solar-powered plane.
According to Piccard, the low altitude journey proved the prototype
Solar Impulse was capable of safely flying - even though it traveled
only 350 meters.
Captain Piccard flies a solar-powered plane
"With its immense wingspan and low speed it seemed to just hang in the
air without moving for 30 seconds. But that was enough for it to fly 350
meters," Piccard wrote in an official blog post. â€¨â€¨
"The whole team held its breath while test pilot Markus Scherdel
stabilized the Solar Impulse with a few tweaks of the ailerons before
touching down smoothly."
Although Piccard conceded that the maiden voyage of the Solar Impulse
may appear to be little more than a "flea hop," he insisted that it
represented a totally "new and uncharted" way of flying.
"Never before â€“ in the whole history of aviation - has an aircraft
so big, so light and consuming so little energy actually flown.
Bertrand Piccard solar powered plane
"Such a wonderful step forward â€“ and we are glad to be able to share
it with you, in expectation of the high-altitude flights next spring.
[However], I remain humble in the face of the difficult journey still to
be accomplished â€“ it's a long way between these initial tests and a
circumnavigation of the world."
It should be noted that Bertrand Piccard previously circumnavigated the
globe during a 20-day hot air balloon journey in 1999.