The World's First Solar Airplane Circumnavigation Continues Despite Bad Weather. Will They Make It?
The Solar Impulse 2 has finally been given the all clear to continue its epic journey around the world after being grounded for more than 3 weeks in Nagoya, Japan. The developing weather front which forced it to divert en route from Nanjing to Hawaii has left the crew, based in Monaco, desperately scrutinizing long range weather reports for a window of opportunity.
Now…finally…the latest reports from the crew’s Facebook page states that: “…a possible window for a takeoff 23rd of June, 17:30 UTC has been identified. After 22 days, we hope the window will be confirmed at 12:00 UTC…”
This project is not only the world’s first attempt at flying around the world without using a single drop of fuel, but also a record attempt at solo flight.
On this leg of the journey, pilot Andre Borschberg, who incidentally also made the first non-stop round-the-world balloon flight, intends to fly solo for 5 consecutive days by taking short naps while regulating his body temperature at high altitudes.
The Si2 is the world’s first fully functional “green” aircraft.
Its journey started in March of 2015 where it took off in Abu Dhabi, and since then it has completed more than 4,000 miles visiting Muscat, Ahmedabad, Varanasi, Myanmar, Chongqing, and Nanjing along the way.
With a wingspan of 208 ft. (covered in 17,000 solar cells ), this carbon fiber plane can reach altitudes upwards of 28,000 ft, with a top speed of 87 MPH.
But this sprawling solar aircraft has become more than just another plane…
Born from the vision of Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg, this endevour has become a testament to the spirit of informed exploitation.
The Solar Impulse 2 finds itself on the cutting edge of future solar technologies, and it has become a story which inspires.
After being ridiculed by the aviation industry since its inception, this amazing project is finally being hailed around the world, and the message has become clear.
If solar technologies are respected and utilized properly, it has the ability to lead our planet into a sustainable, greener future.
If you believe in the future of renewable energy, cast your vote at #FutureIsClean.
Update: The Solar Impulse 2 is finally making its way to Hawaii. This truly has become a feat never attempted before in the world of aviation.
You can follow the Si2’s journey live.