Polar Impulse flies last day Paris Air Show 2011
The technical team was up early to prepare the aircraft and Markus Scherdel, the test pilot, was at Solar Impulse HQ by 08:00 and raring to go.
At 10:00 the propellors started turning and the plane was airbourne in less than 10 second. The public was stunned. There was thunderous applause. After a week of enjoying fabulous displays, sometimes spectacular, but always noisy and polluting, Solar Impulse suddenly offered an astonishing alternative solution. HB-SIA soared above their heads slowly for twenty minutes, majesticly and silently.
The plane was the brainchild of two aviators — Bertrand Piccard, who made history with the world’s first round-the-world hot air balloon flight in 1999, and Andre Borschberg.
Next on the agenda is Solar Impulse Mark II, a modified version of the original plane which will have a bigger cabin — a necessity for that round-the-world flight in 2012.
Source and photo: Solar Impulse
Photo Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg: Rob Vogelaar, ZAPP