by Staff Writers
Zurich (AFP) Feb 20, 2012
Swiss pilot Andre Borschberg will undergo a three-day simulated flight for a new Solar Impulse aircraft that can travel around the world powered only by solar energy, organizers said Monday.
The test will allow the pilot and co-founder of the project to assess the configuration of the cockpit and simulate the effects on the human body of a flight of several days, said the Solar Impulse team in a statement.
The flight simulator will be at Duebendorf, in eastern Switzerland, and will run from Tuesday to Friday.
The second aircraft is under construction and will be larger than the first aircraft which completed a flight in Europe last summer.
It is designed to fly around the world in 2014, in five stages, piloted by Bertrand Piccard and Borschberg.
The first prototype of the plane, covered with photovoltaic cells and powered only by solar energy, made a series of European flights in mid 2011, and the plane was shown at the Brussels and Paris Air shows.
"We will continue building the new aircraft and expect to have a test flight in 2013," Solar Impulse press officer, Alexandra Gindroz, told AFP.
Aerospace News at SpaceMart.com
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Hovering not hard if you're top-heavy
New York NY (SPX) Feb 16, 2012
Top-heavy structures are more likely to maintain their balance while hovering in the air than are those that bear a lower center of gravity, researchers at New York University's Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences and Department of Physics have found. Their findings, which appear in the journal Physical Review Letters, are counter to common perceptions that flight stability can be a ... read more
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