Aeronautics | 15. January 2010 | posted by Jan Wörner

A special impulse ... Solar Impulse

Visiting Solar Impulse
Visiting Solar Impulse

A very special experience: I had the opportunity to observe at first hand the work of DLR's staff on Solar Impulse, Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg's project to circumnavigate the world in a solar-powered plane.


On 14 january, I had the chance to gain a first hand impression of the Solar Impulse project. André Borschberg and Bertrand Piccard, one of the famous, pioneering Piccard family, are having an aircraft developed and built that will be able to fly around the world using solar power alone. The wing surfaces are fitted with solar cells that provide power during the day both for the four engines and also for the batteries. At night, the batteries then provide the power.

DLR is involved both in ground vibration tests to determine the dynamic properties and also in simulation testing. I am not only impressed by the whole project and the special working methods that, because of the particular, unprecedented situation, are always dictated by parallel development work, but also by 'our people', whose highly professional work is also greatly valued by the Solar Impulse crew, as was confirmed to me by the people on site and also by André Borschberg during the visit.

It is fantastic that DLR can be part of this magnificent, exciting project!

Pictures: By kind permission of Solar Impulse / Jacques-Henri Addor.


About the author

The ‘Jan Wörner’ blog was written by Johann-Dietrich ‘Jan’ Wörner during his time as the Chairman of the Executive Board of the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR). Jan Wörner wrote all the posts himself and then sent them to DLR Corporate Communications for editing, picture research and online publication. to authorpage