Markus, you just completed the very first flight with the Solar Impulse. I suspect you feel like an Olympic champion now?
Well, I never was Olympic champion yet. But I think the feeling is quite similar.
Could you enjoy this feeling already during the flight?
The first 20 minutes I had very little time for anything else than to do my job. After that I had gained enough altitude to have a look out of the window during my first turns and to enjoy the amazing panorama of the Alps.
Speaking of looking out of the window: You were piloting an "aeronautic convertible" today as you had no shell around the cockpit. Wasn't it pretty cold up there?
Not at all. I was wearing my special underwear and a windproof overall. In addition to that I got shoes and gloves with built-in heating. You see, we thought of everything.
But what about insects hitting you as you had no windshield?
There were none. It's still too cold for flies.
Probably the most critical part of the flight was the landing. Was it difficult for you?
Actually no. At that time I had already learned a lot about the plane and knew everything I needed to know about its behaviour.
And how did it behave?
So far it was very well-tempered. But I have to say that today we were flying very slow at one point the ground speed had dropped to 12 knots per hour (22 km/h) - and we never intended to test the critical parameters of the plane. This will be one of the goals in the upcoming flights.
Markus, you just completed the very first flight with the Solar Impulse. I suspect you feel like an Olympic champion ...