News

Get up close to the Solar Impulse

After assembling their solar-powered plane at Moffett Field and working out the kinks in the skies above the Bay Area, the team behind the Solar Impulse is ready to lift the curtain -- inviting the community to come and get close to the aircraft, which is capable of flying both day and night using energy harvested entirely from the sun.

Space is limited for the free event, which is scheduled for Saturday, April 20, at Moffett Field. Two of the four viewing slots were booked up by Tuesday evening. Those interested in attending can save a spot in line by going to solarimpulseatmoffett.eventbrite.com.

The Impulse, a carbon fibre plane, with a skin composed almost entirely of solar panels, has a wingspan of 208 feet -- equivalent to that of a Boeing 747 -- but weighs only 3,527 pounds, about the weight of a small car. About a quarter of the weight is from the plane's batteries, which are able to store up enough energy to keep the plane flying through the night.

Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg, the Swiss co-founders leading the project, say that they want to inspire people with the Impulse. Even though a solar-powered commercial plane is a long way off, Piccard told the Voice that he hopes the project will create excitement around solar technology, which he believes is underutilized.

Comments

Posted by Martin Omander, a resident of Rex Manor
on Apr 17, 2013 at 2:52 pm

Very cool -- both that this sort of technology is being showcased, and that it happens in Mountain View!


Posted by Aviator, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 17, 2013 at 7:24 pm

All booked up. Dang!


If you were a member and logged in you could track comments from this story.

Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

The dress code
By Jessica T | 21 comments | 1,874 views

September food and drink goings on
By Elena Kadvany | 0 comments | 1,266 views

. . . People will never forget how you made them feel.
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 1,245 views

College Freshmen: Avoiding the Pitfalls
By John Raftrey and Lori McCormick | 1 comment | 1,097 views

Camp Glamp
By Laura Stec | 6 comments | 1,041 views