Solar Impulse 2 Begins History-Making Round-The-World Flight
Solar Impulse 2 began its journey around the world yesterday in Abu Dhabi.
The first stop out of 12 was in Muscat, Oman. Then Solar Impulse 2 flies to India, China, Hawaii, across the continental US and finally to Southern Europe or North Africa before venturing back to Abu Dhabi in the summer.
“The route: Si2 will take-off from Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirate, in late February or early March and return by late July or early August 2015. The route includes stops in Muscat, Oman; Ahmedabad and Varanasi, India; Mandalay, Myanmar; and Chongqing and Nanjing, China. After crossing the Pacific Ocean via Hawaii, Si2 will fly across the Continental U.S.A. stopping in three locations – Phoenix, and New York City at JFK. A location in the Midwest will be decided dependent on weather conditions. After crossing the Atlantic, the final legs include a stop-over in Southern Europe or North Africa before arriving back in Abu Dhabi. Solar Impulse unveiled the flight path in Abu Dhabi alongside partner representatives. This included main partners Solvay, Omega, Schindler and ABB. They were also joined by official partners Altran, Bayer, Google, Swiss Re Corporate Solutions, Swisscom and Moët Hennessy alongside Solar Impulse’s host partner Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company.”
Solar Impulse 2 is the single-seater aircraft (pilots Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg will take turns in the cockpit) made of carbon fiber with a 72-meter wingspan.
Wings are covered with 17,000 solar cells, supplying four electric motors.
Power from the sun is stored in a 633 kg lithium-ion battery, so the Solar Impulse 2 is able to fly also at night (the longest part of the trip will be a non-stop flight of five days and nights).
Total weight of the aircraft is 2,300 kg (5070 lbs).
Live videos from the journey can be found here with data from cockpit and energy stats.
Hat tip to Brian Henderson!