Text Serge Van Heertum - Pictures : Serge Van Heertum & Guy Liesse © sbap 2011

Since the first little flight in December 2009 with Andre Borschberg as pilot, the HB-SIA has conducted hundreds test flights.
This program is planned to promote a new way in energy saving and renewable alternatives energy. This is the main goal of Bertrand Piccard and his team.
After a long series of test flights in Switzerland, the experimental aircraft started a European tour. First Step Brussels Brussels Airport on May 13th (a lucky Friday for the team). This international trip of Solar Impulse is sponsored by the European Commission and the plane will be the special guest of Paris Air Show, which for a century, is a hight point of the aviation history. During Paris Airshow, the Solar impulse is planned in the demonstration flying program.
A "window" in the weather allowed the flight between Payernne and Brussels. At 08:40 am the Solar Impulse took off from the Swiss airfield and after a flight above, Swiss, East of France, Germany, Luxemboug and Belgium, the plane landed at Brussels Airport at 09:40 pm after 13 flight hours. This historic flight could be followed in real time via the net and at some moment of the flight the registered ground speed was 37 km/hour...Amazing. The flight was followed by a special control center in Payernne and another one located in Brussels.
Bertrand Picard and his team explained: "We have prepared the travel upstream as it is a very complex operation regarding the logistic and the specific way to pilot the Solar Impulse".
The next step is the construction of the HB-SIB a bigger Solar Impulse with more room and more powerful. This new plane is expected to fly in 2013 and will perform a world tour in five phases of five days each.
Feat born of a utopia and a successful technological achievement, Solar Impulse also demonstrates that ecology and industry can and must go in the same direction. Motivate themselves to something that seemed impossible yesterday, this is the leitmotif of Bertrand Piccard.
T
he European capital and Brussels Airport where again involved in a historical page of aviation!
Congratulations to Bertrand Picard, his team and André Borschberg the driver of the Solar Impulse for this amazing 13 hours flight.

North of Brussels Airport during holding around 7:30 PM Approach of the runway 02
   
Solar Impule and a  chase helicopter with SAR Prince Philippe of Belgium on board In short final, impresive flying machine
   
After 13 hours flight...Brussels Close up on the fuselage and 10 ch engine
   
The chase helicopter equiped with camera Congratulation Mister André Borschberg for this historical flight
   
First interview of Bertrand Picard & André Borschberg
(Guy Liesse)
The star of the night shortly after arrival
(Guy Liesse)
   
Solar Impulse moved in the hangar
(Guy Liesse)
   
Many technicians of the Solar Impylse team are needed to move the bird
(Guy Liesse)
   
The bird and the men !
(Guy Liesse)
Close up on the pilot office
(Guy Liesse)
   
Bertrand Picard, SAR Prince Philippe of Belgium  & André Borschberg with our national flag (Guy Liesse)
   
Close up on one of the four 10 ch electrical engine (Guy Liesse)
   
Solar Impulse get 6000 visitors

On Saturday May 28th, the Solar Impulse plane, kept in a hangar at Zaventem airport, was presented to the pulic . A unique opportunity to have a look at this amazing bird. And indeed this opendoor was a great success. The organisator, a well known European bank company issued 6000 tickets and these where distributed in merely two days time. An interesting event for the aviation enthousiast and a historical mark in Belgian aviation as well. After a photo session, a little conference was given by Bertrand Picard & André Borschberg explaining their adventure, the first flight, the international flight, the main goal of the project and of course the future and their world tour attempt that will be held in 2013 with another bigger plane that will be registered HB-SIB. After the memorable flight to Brussels, beginning of june the Solar Impulse will leave the European capital to go to the next step, the international Paris Airshow of Le Bourget. SBAP team will of course try to follow the departure from Brussels National Airport and meet again with the Solar Impulse at Paris...To be continued.
SBAP team would like to thank Mister Jan Wybouw for the invitations of the opendoor and the opportunity to take some special light shots.

The nme of the bird on the fuselage Note the EPA logo (Ecole Technique de Lausanne)
Spinner HB-SIA, in few month's HB-SIB will perform  flight around the world
Bertrand Picard & André Borschberg present for the public  (left : Serge Van Heertum)  &  (right Eddy Devroey)
Movie on a large screen to remember the begin of the story Light game
A long long long aircraft !   (Eddy Devroey)
A part of the 6000 visitors...  (Eddy Devroey)

 

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