Friday, July 03, 2015

Solar plane smashes solo flight record over Pacific

An aircraft attempting to circumnavigate the globe powered only by the sun's energy has broken a world record for the longest non-stop solo flight, the project team said.

The Solar Impulse 2, which took off from Japan on Monday on the seventh leg of its journey, has shattered the solo-flight record threshold of 76 hours while crossing the Pacific.

The plane, which has a wingspan bigger than a jumbo jet, is expected to land in Hawaii around 14:30 GMT on Friday.

Solar Impulse 2, piloted alternatively by Swiss explorers Andre Borschberg and Bertrand Piccard, set off on its 35,000km journey around the world from Abu Dhabi on March 9.

"Can you imagine that a solar powered airplane without fuel can now fly longer than a jet plane!" said Piccard in a statement. "This is a clear message that clean technologies can achieve impossible goals."

Since leaving Abu Dhabi, Solar Impulse 2 has flown seven legs of 13 in an attempt to be the first single manned solar-powered plane to fly around the world.

The plane is powered entirely by the 17,248 solar panels on its wings.

The five-day leg from Japan to Hawaii was regarded as the most challenging part of the journey.

"If we did a five-day flight across a continent and we encountered any problems - be it weather, operational issues, there's an alternate airport we can land," the project's managing director Gregory Blatt told Al Jazeera.

"Crossing the Pacific, there is no alternate airport so that's what keeps me up at night, that's what keeps up the teams, the engineers, the pilots. This is a first ever - are we going to be able to make it?"

If successful, the 120-plus hour flight to Hawaii will also break records for the longest distance flown by a aircraft powered only by the sun.

Live video from the cockpit of the plane is being broadcast on YouTube and shows pilot André Borschberg wearing an oxygen mask and thick flight clothes to protect him from the cold.
Source: Al Jazeera And Reuters

3/7/15
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2 comments:

  1. Solar-powered plane due to land in Hawaii after 5-day flight...

    An airplane powered by the sun is scheduled to land in Hawaii today after a five-day journey across the Pacific from Japan.

    The flight is the longest leg of an around-the-world voyage planned by two Swiss pilots who have been taking turns flying the single-seat airplane. It is also the riskiest because the plane has nowhere to land in an emergency..........http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Solar-powered-plane-due-to-land-in-Hawaii-after-5-day-flight/articleshow/47926831.cms
    3/7/15

    ReplyDelete
  2. Solar Impulse, the aeroplane that is powered only by the sun, has landed in Hawaii after making a historic 8,000km flight across the Pacific from Japan...

    Pilot Andre Borschberg brought the vehicle gently down onto the runway at Kalaeloa Airport just before 06:00 local time (16:00 GMT; 17:00 BST).

    The distance covered and the time spent in the air - 118 hours - are records for manned, solar-powered flight.

    The duration is also an absolute record for a solo, un-refuelled journey............ΒΒΨ

    ReplyDelete

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