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CAP Visits Solar Impulse at DFW

posted Jun 1, 2013, 11:48 AM by J Scott Carter   [ updated Jun 1, 2013, 12:00 PM ]
Dallas-Cadets and Senior Members of Group II (Ft Worth) and Group III Texas Wing Civil Air Patrol were treated to an "by invitation only" showing of the solar powered airplane Solar Impulse on Wednesday afternoon. The plane was making preparations for its' departure from DFW airport for its' next destination Saint Louis Missouri and was originally scheduled to depart Tuesday evening but was delayed by high winds and bad weather. The delay gave the public an additional day to view the plane.
Departure is now scheduled for Monday afternoon around 4:30pm CST. Forecaster say there may be a slight break in the weather that would allow the fragile craft to take off. Winds must be below 15knots in order for the plane to get airborne.
The plane is constructed of very light weight composite materials making it difficult to control on takeoff and landing. The plane normally flies at or about 5,000 feet in its' cross country trek. It has a service ceiling of 27,900 feet allowing it to fly around some bad weather it may encounter along the way.
Weighing only 3,527 pounds, about the weight of the average car the plane has a wing span of 208 feet. 11,628 solar cells spread over its' wing and body power the four 10 horsepower electric engines and give it a cruising speed of about 70knot per hour. The plane was not designed to have any practical use other than to prove that the solar power technology can work. And work it will in the coming months builders of the plane hope to fly it around the world.
Grapevine resident and Professional Development Officer John Krogstad of the 391st composite squadron said "I think this is the most awesome plane I have ever seen and it has been a great experience to just to be able to say I was there to see the plane and get up close and personal. Really this is a once in a lifetime event for me, the cadets and senior members who were able to attend today's showing. Krogstad is a thirty-five year veteran of the Civil Air Patrol a former 1stLt in the United States Air Force and is now a retired banker.
Lt. Colonel Bob Sides, Commander of the 391st Composite Squadron Group III Texas Wing, based at Love Field Dallas commented "this is just one more example of the neat stuff cadets and senior members get to participate in. And I would like to commend Lt. Lana Holub, project liaison officer for doing an excellent job of getting the word out on such short notice. Thanks also to 391st ex-squadron commander Capt Ian Jaeger for helping to arrange for the group invitation.
The Solar Impulse is on a cross country trip that originated on the West Coast and will end in Washington D.C. sometime this summer.

Images of this event can be viewed at the Dallas Composite Squadron Facebook page.


For more information contact:  Capt. Robert R. Bruton CAP
                          Public Affairs Officer
                          391st Composite Squadron 
                          Group III Texas Wing
                          Civil Air Patrol
                          Dallas (817) 685 9658