Solar Flight Telemetry, Live
May 31, 2015 5:38 PM   Subscribe

The Solar Impulse, the world's first solar-powered manned long-haul flying machine, is currently in the midst of the longest leg in its pioneering round-the-world journey — China to Hawaii, which at a cruising speed of less than 30mph is anticipated to take most of a week. Follow along with live flight telemetry here. Swiss businessman André Borschberg and Swiss psychiatrist Bertrand Piccard, who both previously participated in the world's first round-the-world balloon voyage, in the Breitling Orbiter 3, are alternating flight legs. Borschberg is at the controls until the aircraft reaches Hawaii.
posted by killdevil (12 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Of interest: the Impulse is currently loitering over the ocean west of Japan, waiting for a break in the weather near Hawaii. It has about the same wingspan as an Airbus A380, but weighs so little (just a bit more than an SUV) and has such scant engine power that even minor storms can shatter it.
posted by killdevil at 5:52 PM on May 31, 2015

So I read that the psychiatrist is an experienced pilot, but are you sure he's not there to, er ... negotiate with the plane to insure that it retains the greatest enthusiasm and confidence in the mission?
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 6:07 PM on May 31, 2015 [5 favorites]

I like to think this is a long con to prevent the businessman from crashing the world's economy.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 6:26 PM on May 31, 2015

Eponysterical? If you really think about it, it is.
posted by NoMich at 6:36 PM on May 31, 2015 [1 favorite]

Most of a week -- unless it routes through DFW and ATL, in which case, it'll be most of two week rimshot.

and has such scant engine power that even minor storms can shatter it.

Well, that, and with that low a cruise speed, if the winds not going your way, you're not going that way.
posted by eriko at 7:16 PM on May 31, 2015 [1 favorite]

All of that telemetry reminds me of all the hours I spent in the early 90s playing any flight simulator I could get my junior-high hands on.
posted by Wild_Eep at 7:31 PM on May 31, 2015

Word word word word!
posted by rankfreudlite at 7:34 PM on May 31, 2015

For a moment I thought this was about the space sail. My heart stopped at "manned" — no way! Suicide space mission? But people volunteered for Mars…

Then my brain caught up to my eyes and everything was ok again.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:42 PM on May 31, 2015

The inner 9-year old me sniggered at 'TOILETS' being one of the pilot's occupations, but it got me thinking. Seems I'm not alone - the Solar Impulse team claim that "How pilots go to the bathroom" is their most frequently asked question.
posted by KirkpatrickMac at 2:04 AM on June 1, 2015

ugh...since I found their website pretty awful, I went looking for a more descriptive article about it, found one in The Guardian.
posted by spinn at 4:44 AM on June 1, 2015

Thanks, spinn, that was an impressively unusable website.
posted by echo target at 9:05 AM on June 1, 2015

posted by rum-soaked space hobo at 2:33 PM on June 1, 2015

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