IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR SOLAR IMPULSE 2 - Swiss pioneers Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg are the founders, pilots and life force behind Solar Impulse 2. In 2015 the plane is due to make the first ... more 
IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR SOLAR IMPULSE 2 - Swiss pioneers Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg are the founders, pilots and life force behind Solar Impulse 2. In 2015 the plane is due to make the first round-the-world solar flight, day and night without any fuel. This revolutionary single-seater aircraft made of carbon fibre has a 236 ft (72 meter) wingspan (larger than that of the Boeing 747-8I) and weighs the same as a car (5,000 lbs. or 2,300 Kg). The 17,000 solar cell, built into the wing, supply four electric motors (17.5 CV each). During the day, the solar cells recharge lithium batteries weighing 2077 lbs. (633 Kg), which allow the aircraft to fly at night. Each pilot will fly for 4-5 days. They will need 2.4 kg of food, 2.5 l of water and 1l of sports drink per day: additional weight that needs to be carefully calculated by the Solar Impulse team. In case of an emergency, the pilot seat has an integrated parachute and life raft. (Jean Revillard for Solar Impulse 2 via AP Images) less 
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Associated Press
Wed, Apr 9, 2014 10:03 AM EDT