Solar Impulse 2 – the first solar plane to circumnavigate the world

“We had promised that we would come back,”said Swiss adventurer Bertrand Piccard. And he kept his word. Tuesday morning he landed with Solar Impulse 2 in Abu Dhabi. With this, the circumference of the Earth of the solar plane was successfully completed – after almost 510 hours and more than 40 thousand kilometers in the air, reported DPA.

The last part of the trip was between Cairo and Abu Dhabi, a generally trip was divided into 17 stages over 4 continents, three seas, and two oceans. “The future is clean. The future is you. The future is now. Let’s take it further,” said the pilot of Solar Impulse 2 Picard after landing in Abu Dhabi.

The start of the journey was in March 2015 in Abu Dhabi. From there 2 Solar Impulse flew to India and China, and then – for Hawaii. On the way from Japan to Hawaii, the crew set a new world record for solar aircraft flight length. It was with a length of 5545 km., which the plane flew for nearly 118 hours. Then the SI2  was piloted by Andre Borschberg.

During this flight, however, were damaged the wings of the plane and they had to make a nine-month break. In April they managed to travel from Hawaii to California as their flight took 62 hours.

With the flight around the Earth with a solar plane, the two Swiss want to promote the use of energy from renewable sources. Over 17 thousand. Solar cells on the wings provide the energy for the four electric motors of the machine of carbon fiber, which has a wingspan of 72 meters (a few meters larger than Boeing’s 747). The normal air speed is 48 km/h and the average speed of the journey – 70 km/h.

Six years ago the Swiss team of the adventurer Bertrand Piccard flew the first prototype of the solar plane set for a world tour. Then was made a successful test flight of the military airport in Payerne, Switzerland, at a speed of about 45 km/h.

Since 2010, Picard, the chairman of the project and Borshberg – its chief executive, set eight international aviation records, including length, height and distance flown. They crossed together Europe, North Africa, and the US in a prototype aircraft powered only by the sun.

About the Author

Martina Terzieva
Martina Terzieva is a news writer for the Wings Journal. She likes to dig deep, find the most interesting things that happen and share them with the world. She's fond by aviation, finding it one of the greatest achievements of the human kind. Besides news, Martina writes poetry, she's also a musician and a sound engineer.

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