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Questions tagged [solar-impulse]

A Swiss long-range experimental solar-powered aircraft

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18
votes
2answers
3k views

Why did the Solar Impulse flight take so long?

The Solar Impulse just made big news for flying from Japan to Hawaii on a solar-powered plane in five days. But five days seems really long. Let's do the math on that. The distance from Japan to ...
10
votes
4answers
501 views

How does lowering altitude conserve energy in Solar Impulse 2?

In this article the author explains that the aircraft flies at a lower altitude to conserve energy. During the day, it climbs to its maximum cruising altitude of 8,500 metres to capture the most ...
55
votes
4answers
10k views

Why do solar planes have many small propellers instead of fewer large ones?

Many solar planes, like NASA's Helios (pictured above), NASA's Pathfinder, and to a lesser extent Facebook's Aquila employ the use of many small motor propeller sets instead of one or two engines like ...
10
votes
2answers
626 views

What considerations drove the choice of the Solar Impulse engines configuration?

Solar Impulse makes me think of a motorglider due to its aspect ratio. The Upward cranked tips wing configuration along with the engines configuration particularly draw my attention: The 2 innermost ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

What would be the stall speed of Solar Impulse?

In most of the tables, only the take off (22 mph) and cruise (43) speed of the Solar Impulse are listed. It is an experimental plane, slow, with very huge wing for solar batteries. The take off speed ...