Solar Impulse 2 Completes Round-The-World Flight (w/videos)

JUL 26 2016 BY MARK KANE 6

The Solar Impulse 2 has landed in Abu Dhabi, finishing the last leg of the world’s first “Round-The-World Solar Flight”.

Solar Impulse Landing in Abu Dhabi - Finishing the first Round-the-World solar flight

Solar Impulse Landing in Abu Dhabi – Finishing the first Round-the-World solar flight

It’s historic achievement for the electric aircraft, powered solely by sun, a journey that covered some 40,000 km.

Via Solar Impulse 2:

“We have now just watched our shared dream unveil, becoming a reality. It’s with great emotion that I write this last blog to report on the Round-the-World solar flights. Emotions, tears, relief, exhilaration is what we are all feeling right now after completing the first Round-the-World solar flight in history.”

One of the highlights on the trip was a record of 118 hours or nearly 5 days and nights non-stop flight (about 5,000 miles / 8,000 km) between Japan to Hawaii.  Of course, not all went as planned, as battery damage then grounded the Solar Impulse 2 in Hawaii for months.

About three months ago, the Solar Impulse 2 was fully repaired and cleared for flight, resuming the journey by arriving in California and then to New York…so it wasn’t the “quickest” round-the-world flight to be sure.

Bonus videos (below): Check out the Solar Impulse 2 in daytime flight below, as well as the livestream of the landing.

Quick specs:

  • wingspan of 72 m
  • 17,248 photovoltaic cells (enough to fly at daytime and accumulate energy for the whole night, it could theoretically stay in the air forever)
  • weights 2,300 kg (5,070 lbs), including 633 kg is battery pack
  • four motors each of 17.5 HP or about 13 kW for total 50 kW output
  • top speed of up to 90 km/h (56 mph)
Solar Impulse Landing in Abu Dhabi - Finishing the first Round-the-World solar flight

Solar Impulse Landing in Abu Dhabi – Finishing the first Round-the-World solar flight

Solar Impulse Landing in Abu Dhabi - Finishing the first Round-the-World solar flight

Solar Impulse Landing in Abu Dhabi – Finishing the first Round-the-World solar flight

Solar Impulse 2

Solar Impulse 2

Solar Impulse 2

Solar Impulse 2 in New York

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6 Comments on "Solar Impulse 2 Completes Round-The-World Flight (w/videos)"

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Good job! i’m quite impressed with this project.
Now do it in two weeks with no stops, two pilots on board and pressurized cabin and then i will let my jaw touch the ground.

“17,248 photovoltaic cells (enough to fly at daytime and accumulate energy for the whole night, it could theoretically stay in the air forever)”

I think that is more important than anything else.

I can’t see this ever becomes a transportation device for anyone who requires any kind of speed (which is almost the entire point of air travel).

But that staying in the air forever thing should be a good thing for monitoring, communication and other in air requirement.

This remains a completely pointless stunt, except for the personal accomplishment of the pilots. PV-battery planes have already demonstrated a practical use, for HALE drone observation/relay missions. No one is going to use them for something like this, if getting somewhere in something approaching a reasonable time is the goal. People have bicycled around the world in far less time.

Even as it us, with that very slow airspeed of 30 Knots, or even if it was slower, at 30 Miles per Hour, it could beat a zig zagging commercial Jet Flight, with 3 Hours needed for check in, and 1 to 14 hours between connections, if, for example, you flew direct Kamloops, BC, to Port Hardy, BC, on Vancouver Islands North End! What it really needs is about double the speed, and ability to take-off and land without ground crew! Wait, there is already an operationall 2-Seater Solar Electric Aircraft, that exceeds that parameter! “The Sunseeker Duo is the most advanced solar powered airplane in the world. It is Solar Flightʼs third solar powered airplane. It has a wingspan of 22 meters; an empty weight of 280 kg and 1510 solar cells with 23% efficiency. First flown under power in December 2013, it has now logged several hundred hours in the air, and carried more than a few passengers. Irena Raymond became the second pilot of the DUO, and has made 10 solo flights in it.” – http://www.solar-flight.com/projects/sunseeker-duo/ Solar-Flight already has a model in sight for a 6 Seat, Twin Motor variant, with optional range extender. The times, they… Read more »

Way to go, so proud of our Swiss pilots and engineers! Another amazing feat alongside the Planetsolar boat and others.

Its a first step. The real record is to fly around the world non-stop.