"Another drawback of the airplane's low speed is that a trip around the world could take as long as 15 days. More time aloft means more food, water and supplies are needed"
"By the time each day dawns, Solar Impulse will have sunk to just 10,000 to 15,000 ft.--below the altitude at which clouds commonly form. If sunrise finds Solar Impulse struggling along beneath heavy cloud cover, it will be Game Over."
Let me get this straight:
- 40 hp
- 30 mph
- 15 days
- need for constant good weather
- massive payload restrictions
- today's battery technology
I don't think it will happen any time soon in spite of the massive advances in solar cell technology that have occurred recently. If we ever get light weight high capacity batteries he might stand a chance, but until then I am somewhat sceptical.
Nevertheless it would be great if Switzerland did mange to write aviation history one again.