Tallard, France: Beringer Wheels & Brakes wants us to know that the revolutionary Solar Impulse, which demonstrates the budding practicality of electric flight, is supported by a single Beringer wheel, demonstrating that company’s commitment to strength in its experimental, as well as its certified designs.
“The trouble-free service on Solar Impulse confirms our original engineering and safety margins,” said Rémi Beringer, Chief Designer. “The high stresses imposed by this application confirm our dedication to high strength, whether in our certified products, or in experimental.”
The single Beringer wheel normally supports a static load of 1,432 pounds, but carries 3,750 pounds on the Solar Impulse. Air pressure in the Michelin tire is approximately 10 bar (140+ psi).
In fact, Michelin used the Beringer factory’s proprietary wheel and tire dynamometer to develop and test the special tire that is used on the Solar Impulse.
The Solar Impulse is currently touring the United States, piloted alternately by the Swiss team of Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg. The first legs of the tour, from San Francisco to Phoenix, have already been successfully flown. Subsequent legs, to St. Louis, Washington, D.C., and finally New York, are scheduled until early July.
The four-motor, solar-powered carbon fiber airplane has a wingspan of (63.4m / 208 ft) and weighs (1,600kg / 3,527 lb). No plane that big and that light has ever been built before.
More on the Solar Impulse program: www.solarimpulse.com