Longest Leg of Around-the-World Journey Using No Fuel Is Completed:
The Next Stop Is Phoenix for Aircraft Demonstrating Clean Technologies
The fully electric Solar Impulse – Si2, the Swiss organization’s second 100% battery-powered aircraft – has completed its 7,200-kilometer/4,475-mile flight from Nagoya, Japan to Honolulu. Organization co-founder and CEO André Borschberg made the five-day solo journey, the longest in aviation history.
The primary mission of Solar Impulse, however, is to demonstrate the real-world possibilities of zero-emission power: electric drive propulsion using electricity derived from the sun.
“An airplane flying day and night without fuel is more than a spectacular milestone in aviation, it’s the living proof that clean technologies and renewable energies can achieve incredible feats; and that all these energy efficient technologies should now be used globally in order to have a cleaner world,” the project’s initiator and organization chairman Bertrand Piccard said in a release prior to the Japan-Hawaii flight.
The Round-The-World flight started in Abu Dhabi on March 9. The next planned leg of the no-fuel circumnavigation, the ninth is Honolulu-Phoenix, with Piccard himself at the controls. It’s to commence when weather permits.
‘Virtually Unlimited Autonomy’
The carbon composite aircraft has 17,000 solar cells to charge a 633-kilogram (2,077-pound) lithium ion battery system that in turn powers four electric motors for “virtually unlimited autonomy.” Si2’s wingspan is slightly greater than that of a Boeing 747-8I, yet the aircraft weighs about the same as a car.
The Round-The-World journey “will not only continue to demonstrate the credibility of the vision of Solar Impulse, but more importantly, help at raising millions of voices from individuals and governments to replace old polluting devices with new clean technologies that are more energy efficient,” the team says.
The Solar Impulse organization names Solvay, Omega, Schindler, and ABB as main partners and Google, Altran, Bayer MaterialScience, Swiss Re Corporate Solutions, Swisscom and Moët Hennessy as official partners.
all images © Solar Impulse
Source: Solar Impulse with Fleets & Fuels follow-up