Using battery power, the Solar Impulse HB-SIA made its first flight with a 350m hop at 3ft (1m) altitude on 3 December along a runway at Dübendorf airfield, north-east of Zurich, Switzerland. Designed to fly with solar power, the hop, at 13:11 local time, ends the first development phase. Now the HB-SIA will be transported to the Swiss military airfield at Payerne, west of Bern. There in early 2010 it will carry out solar-powered test flights that will gradually increase in duration until the aircraft makes its first night flight using energy stored during the day.
© Solar Impulse