Solar impulse 2 airplane flies around the world on just solar-power – now in china

After becoming the first solar powered airplane to complete an intercontinental flight in 2012 and then traveling across the USA in 2013, the solar impulse ‘ 2′ has embarked on its most recent world record-breaking attempt, the 2015 round-the-world trip.

named the ‘si2′, the aircraft starts its voyage from abu dhabi, united arab emirates, and will stop in oman, twice in india, myanmar, twice in china, three times in the US and once in northern or southern europe before its return to the UAE in late july. this route was revealed alongside its partners; solvay, omega, schindler and ABB, and aims to progress the possibilities of technological, human and piloting performance.

the first ever single-seater solar plane to enter china, the Si2, just landed (march 30th) in chongqing, 20 hours and 29 minutes after departing from myanmar, having covered 1,459 kilometers (788 NM, 907 miles). flying above the mountainous chinese provinces of yunnan and sichuan required one of the two the swiss pilots, bertrand piccard, to perform a steep climb at the beginning of the journey, and due to continuous flying at high altitude, he had to wear an oxygen mask in the 3.8m3 (3.8 cubic meters or 134.20 cubic feet) unpressurized cockpit in which he faced temperatures descending to -20 degrees celsius (-4 °F).

andré borschberg will be the pilot for the next flight to nanjing which will take the zero-fuel airplane on about 1,190 km (642 NM, 739 miles) for an estimated time of 20 hours. that is not anticipated to happen before april 7.

test pilot, markus scherdel, flying in abu dhabi

it can fly for days at a time, without any fuel

andré borschberg traveling over the united arab ermirates city

‘china has become number one in wind power and in solar panel production, and if you look at how much efforts the chinese government is making to increase the use of renewable energy to optimize the energy mix, there is no surprise that solar impulse is so well received in the country’, said pilots bertrand piccard and andré borschberg, co-founders of solar impulse.

you might want to participate:

designboom co-hosts the HANERGY Thin-Film Solar Product Global Innovation Competition with HANERGY — the world’s largest thin-film solar power company. the aim of the initiative is to develop and raise awareness around clean and efficient energy use, by exploring the application, popularization and development of future solar powered products. registrations will be accepted by may 10th, 2015 (GMT +8 – local time in china).

 

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