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Dassault Systèmes and Solar Impulse Define New Chapter in Future of Solar-Powered Aviation

10 March 2015

Dassault Systèmes and Solar Impulse Define New Chapter in Future of Solar-Powered Aviation

Dassault Systèmes has renewed its ongoing technical partnership with Solar Impulse and publicly committed itself to the next phases of the record-breaking, solar-powered, round the world aeroplane project.

The Solar Impulse 2 aeroplane used Dassault’s 3DEXPERIENCE platform, including its CATIA and ENOVIA applications, to design, build, and validate this second solar airplane.

Dassault explains that Solar Impulse 1 was a test bed for the incredibly complex new technologies required to fly day and night using solar energy alone. Solar Impulse 2 is expected to carry the mission forward by flying around the world in 2015.

Dassault says that the team faced new challenges and trade-offs in designing such an innovative plane, including a new design for the fuselage and wings, and using new materials to achieve strict weight objectives. Designing a cockpit providing safety, comfort, and command accessibility for a pilot on an around-the-world flight required sophisticated design and management tools. Dassault’s applications, in use by the team since 2006, helped ensure smooth execution of the ongoing development process and milestones.

“For over a century, pioneers have been pushing the limits of aviation and transforming ideas into ‘firsts,’ from the first human flight to balloon flights and space missions once thought to be impossible,” said André Borschberg, Co-founder CEO and Pilot of Solar Impulse. “We continue to apply this entrepreneurial spirit to engineering and research programs that blend 21st century technologies like the 3DEXPERIENCE platform with a mission to improve mankind’s impact on the environment.”

“We had to be right the first time. We needed proven, cutting edge industry solutions to craft the experience for which we were looking. That’s why we went to Dassault Systèmes and its 3DEXPERIENCE platform,” said Bertrand Piccard, Initiator, Chairman and Pilot, Solar Impulse. “An experience perspective is exactly what we needed when creating an airplane to achieve such long flights. We’re in the cockpit for five days at a time. Everything, from the propulsion, to the electronics, to the crew facilities needs to be considered, planned, integrated and implemented for such a flight to be successful.”

“This is about more than just serving the needs of a customer,” said Michel Tellier, Vice President, Aerospace & Defense Industry, Dassault Systèmes. “It’s more than just an airplane; Solar Impulse is a message. The Solar Impulse project is showing the world that alternative, clean energy can be safe and viable in the most extreme circumstances and that it has the power to change the world.”

Photo provided by Dassault Systèmes.






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