Solar Impulse 2 Crosswind Landing

Solar Impulse 2 Crosswind Landing. Solar Impulse 2 was still in flight test stage when Markus Scherdel, the experienced test pilot, was put to a challenge by strong crosswinds during landing. In this video you can see how Solar Impulse 2 returned from a flight and performed a planned low approach before landing. A go around and later approach takes satisfactorily 20 minutes, during which the winds increased importantly and unexpectedly to 4 knots crosswind component.

The pilot had no other choice but to land despite the situation as the weather was rapidly getting poor. Right before landing, the pilot got gust from the side, blowing the plane off the runway to the right. He then needed to correct back to the center line. Markus Scherdel never lost his smile, although he was imposed a great work load, trying to avoid landing next to the runway or losing balance. This demonstrates how Solar Impulse 2 is sensitive to turbulence. That was really challenging but the pilot is very skilled and calm.

Solar Impulse is the only airplane of permanent endurance, able to fly day and night on solar power, without a drop of fuel. This revolutionary single-seater aircraft made of carbon fiber has a 72 meter wingspan for a weight of just 2,300 kg. During the day, the solar cells recharge lithium batteries weighing 633 kg which allow the aircraft to fly at night and therefore to have virtually unlimited autonomy.