Swiss Pilot is Attempting to Circumnavigate the World in a Solar-Powered Plane
Would you like to take a trip around the world without using a drop of fossil fuel? Contact André Borschberg, the co-founder of Solar Impulse if you want to.
André Borschberg is attempting to circumnavigate the world in a solar-powered plane. This is the first time anyone has attempted this and he is not alone, he is joined by another Solar Impulse co-founder, Bertrand Piccard, who is a trade-off pilot during layovers.
The aircraft in question is named Solar Impulse-2 and it took flight earlier on Monday from Abu Dhabi. Its first stop during the 35,000 kilometer journey is Muscat, Oman. The journey won’t be easy or without risk as traveling over the Atlantic and Pacific oceans means solo flights for five days and five nights.
It will take five months for Solar Impulse-2 to reach back Abu Dhabi. Before taking off, André Borschberg had the following to say.
It is also exciting because you know, you simulate, you calculate, you imagine, but there is nothing like testing and doing it. I am sure we are all confident and hopefully we will be able to see each other here in five months.
The Solar Impulse project team wants to tell the world the importance of renewable energy. They are writing a new chapter in aviation history by not using fuel or polluting planet Earth while circumnavigating.
Solar Impulse’s ambition is for the world of exploration and innovation to contribute to the cause of renewable energies, (and) to demonstrate the importance of clean technologies for sustainable development
The Solar Impulse-2 is made of carbon fiber with a wingspan of 236 foot. Interestingly, that’s even bigger than the boeing 747. After making a stop in Oman, Solar Impulse-2 will start its journey to India. There it will make a couple of stops before heading to China and Myanmar.
From there, the epic journey over the Pacific will begin before landing in Hawaii. Next stop is going to be Arizona, and New York afterwards.
I am confident we have a very special aeroplane, and it will have to be to get us across the big oceans … We may have to fly for five days and five nights to do that, and it will be a challenge.
Solar Impulse-2 and the idea of making the aviation industry more environment-friendly is great on paper. Otherwise, solar-powered planes are light years away from going commercial.