Solar Impulse, the Swiss solar-powered airplane, is set for a new life in Spain.
Three years after the plane landed in Abu Dhabi, Solar Impulse has signed an agreement with Spanish-based start-up Skydwellerexternal link for a “new use” of the machine.
Skydweller, located in the central Castilla-La Mancha region, wants to take advantage of Solar Impulse’s expertise in solar aircraft to develop, test and industrialise commercial unmanned perpetual flight vehicles, Solar Impulse said in a statementexternal link on Wednesday.
“These technologies are gaining major attention all around the world as they could prove to have very promising applications in many different fields such as natural resource monitoring, data collection, weather forecasting, and emergency operations surveillance and high added-value telecommunications, including internet and 5G for remote areas,” it said.
The plane, currently in spare parts in Morges, western Switzerland, has been sold for an undisclosed amount. It is expected to reach Spain within four to six weeks, Solar Impulse director Gregory Blatt told the Swiss News Agency Keystone/ATS.
The authorities of the Castilla-La Mancha region plan to support the project financially, according to the statement.
In his pursuit of promoting the adoption of clean technologies, Bertrand Piccard, the initiator and chairman of Solar Impulse, said he believes that “Solar Impulse, in this contemplated second life, will continue to illustrate that clean technologies can achieve the impossible while at the same time building a sustainable future”.
Once Skydweller has completed its work, the plane is scheduled to return to Switzerland for permanent exhibition at the Swiss Museum of Transportexternal link in Lucerne.