Solar Impulse 2 Ready For Historic Round-The-World Flight

JAN 22 2015 BY MARK KANE 4

The Solar Impulse 2, the largest ever solar-electric aircraft, was recently transported to Abu Dhabi, from where it will begin its historic round-the-world flight.

The start is scheduled for late February or early March and return is late July or early August 2015. The pilots are Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg.

The 40,000-km long route include the US. One of the challenges is a non-stop flight of five days and nights from China to Hawaii.

The battery pack will store energy to fly at night, while 17,248 solar cells will provide power during the day.

“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 2

Solar Impulse 2

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4 Comments on "Solar Impulse 2 Ready For Historic Round-The-World Flight"

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Useless like a hot air balloon. You can fly around with it for fun, but that’s it.

The idea is not to prove that a solar airplane can fly as fast as a combustion one. Is another concept that puts the challenge in see how far can you go without polluting the atmosfear of the planet you are living in.

And beside this i have to say that this airplane can do things that no other airplane can, like stay 24h flying without any help.
Is hard to see the utility of this if you think about right now, but looking at the future may be a game changer.

They have talked about using it for “low level satellites” that loiter full time at altitude. This can be used for photography, or radio relay for internet traffic.

This ability always existed with high altitude balloons, but those are uncontrollable.

“Low level” means 40,000+, above where most airlines fly.

It is being piloted by Captain Piccard!