Piiots Take Solar Impulse Sim on 25-hour Flight
Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg recently spent their first 25 hours at the controls of a flight simulator that replicates the cockpit in the first Solar Impulse prototype HB-SIA. Piccard flew the prototype from Tuesday, May 13 at 7:27 a.m. to Wednesday, May 14 at 8:43 a.m., and Borschberg from Thursday, May 15 at 7:20 a.m. to Friday, May 16 at 8:38 a.m. Developed by Solar Impulse and assembled by EPFL, the Federal Polytechnic of Lausanne, the simulator allowed the men to “fly” HB-SIA for the first time. Taking off from Payerne, they tested the cockpit’s ergonomics and noted possible improvements. They also experienced the aerodynamic behavior of the airplane and noted how its motors consumed or stored energy in the batteries, particularly during the nocturnal part of the flight.