Ahmadabad: Solar Impulse, the fuel-free aeroplane which is on historic trip to fly around the world, has been built using 3D experience design platform, a technology that can “significantly” reduce the cost and the time of manufacturing.
Solar Impulse 2 (Si2) has used Dassault Syst mes 3D EXPERIENCE platform, to design, build, and validate this second solar airplane.
“Solar Impulse 2 is a test bed for the incredibly complex new technologies required to fly day and night using solar energy alone,” Chandan Chaudhury, Managing Director, Dassault Systemes India, told PTI.
The Si2 plane took off from Abu Dhabi on March 8 and landed here late on Tuesday night. The next stop for the plane, which has a wing span of Boeing 747 but weighs only 2. 3 tonnes, is Varanasi before it flies into Myanmar on way to China.
Chaudhury said the Si2 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, he said.
The fact that there was no prototype and the Si2 plane was constructed in the first attempt raises hopes that newer technologies can be cost effective and would also go a long way in achieving Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s goal of ‘Zero defect, Zero effect’, Chaudhury said.
“The Solar impulse team wanted a plane that can be put on flight without going through the prototype process. In this, our 3D Experience and our applications came in handy.
“We built a digital aircraft for them, which was put through virtual simulations in varied conditions,” he said.
“With 3D design technology, we can ensure that new products are rolled out faster, have no defects and also cut down on costs which normally go into testing of prototypes,” he added.