Saturday, May 30, 2015

Solar plane soars above Pacific Ocean

The revolutionary Solar Impulse 2 aircraft has taken off for a six-day flight over the Pacific Ocean, the most ambitious leg of its quest to circumnavigate the globe powered only by the sun.

Pilot Andre Borschberg, 62, left the ground in Nanjing, in eastern China, early on Sunday (local time) heading for Hawaii after extended delays awaiting a suitable weather window over safety concerns.

Lit by white lights on its wings, the plane rolled down the runway before climbing into a misty sky with its four whirling propellers nearly silent.

Ground crew members cheered as it took off.

The 8500km flight is expected to take an estimated 130 hours, organisers said.

"I cross my fingers and I hope to cross the Pacific," Borschberg told reporters just hours before the take-off.

"We have a good weather window, which means we have a stable corridor to reach Hawaii," he said, shortly before climbing into the cockpit to test the instruments.

"I'm really confident we should be able to get through and find the right way."...

 AFP
 www.3news.co.nz
30-31/5/15
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1 comment:

  1. Solar Impulse to land in Japan because of poor weather...

    A record-breaking attempt to cross the Pacific Ocean using a solar-powered plane has been aborted.

    Poor weather conditions are forcing the Solar Impulse craft to head back to Japan to land.

    The pilot was 36 hours into what was expected to be a six-day journey from China to Hawaii.

    The team will now wait in Japan for clearer skies before attempting to continue.

    Bertrand Piccard, who has been watching the flight from mission control, in Monaco, said: "We are not daredevils, we are explorers.

    "We have to put safety at the top of all of our priorities.

    "Everyone is very happy with the plane - but the weather does not fit.

    "We land in Nagoya and we wait for better conditions to continue."....BBC

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