SKF contributes to Solar Impulse, the first aircraft designed to fly day and night without fuel or pollution, demonstrating the immense potential of renewable energies.
The Solar Impulse project aims to have an aeroplane take off and fly autonomously around the world, propelled uniquely by solar energy. SKF joined the project as a Specialized Partner, contributing to the development of this unique aeroplane with products and engineering knowledge in the areas of bearing technology, analytical modelling and virtual testing.
The aircraft’s construction calls for advanced technologies and research in the areas of composite structures, light materials, and energy storage. In the first phase of the project, SKF will provide customized hybrid deep groove ball bearings for the aircraft’s main propeller drive.
The prototype is designed to demonstrate the possibility of a night flight and will attempt the first complete day-night-day cycle by summer 2010. With this milestone achieved, a second airplane will be built, with the objective of circling the world in five legs of five days and nights each in 2013.
Solar Impulse, based in Switzerland, was founded by Bertrand Piccard, a psychiatrist and aeronaut who made the first non-stop round-the-world balloon flight, and André Borschberg, an engineer and graduate in management science who is also a se bild hter pilot and a professional aeroplane and helicopter pilot.