Published on May 20th, 2014 | by Amber Archangel0
Solar Impulse Inspires MIT Engineering Students (VIDEO)
May 20th, 2014 by Amber Archangel
Originally published on 1Sun4All.
Watch the discussion between André Borschberg—CEO, Co-Founder & Pilot of Solar Impulse—and students from the MIT Aeronautics Astronautics Unified Engineering class, led by Professor Olivier de Weck.
An MIT Unified Engineering & Solar Impulse Hangout On Air
The topic of discussion above is the challenges of building a solar airplane, as well as some highlights of the Unified Engineering Flight Competition that took place last week at MIT. The theme for the MIT 2014 competition was Green Aviation Inspired by Solar Impulse.
SolarImpulse2 Construction, Engineer Mounting Solar Panels 2013.12.05 | © Solar Impulse | Revillard | Rezo.ch
André tells us in the video that the objective for the Solar Impulse team was to build the most energy efficient airplane. Si2, the new aircraft, flies with a wing span larger than a 747 and weighs about 2 tons, which is approximately 600 pounds lighter than the weight of a Tesla Model S. The solar airplane has a wing load similar to a hang-glider, but it has 70 meters (or 240 feet) of wing span.
Solar Impulse 2, Fully Assembled Airplane 2014.04.04 | © Solar Impulse | Revillard | Rezo.ch
André emphasizes that he and Bertrand Piccard are not just flying the solar airplane for the fun of it. Their goal is to communicate a message by demonstrating the power of clean energy technologies and showing the potential in relation to energy savings.
He says that this knowledge is slowly finding its way into home building and other means of transportation. He sees an “unbelievable potential” to reduce the energy we consume by as much as 50% if we extensively apply these technologies everywhere.
Look for our coverage of the first Si2 test flight, which is anticipated in two to three weeks’ time.
Get CleanTechnica’s 1st (completely free) electric car report → “Electric Cars: What Early Adopters & First Followers Want.”
Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter.