Solar Impulse 2 resumes its historic flight
Solar Impulse 2, the airplane capable of flying day and night without using a drop of fuel, resumed its round-the-world flight using only solar energy.
Bertrand Piccard took off from Kalaeloa airport, Hawaii at around 16:15 UTC, (18:15 CET) on April 21st. He touched down on the Moffett Airfield runway 62 hours after takeoff at 6:44AM UTC, 8:44AM CET on April 24th, and 11:44PM PT on April 23rd.
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In a statement released to the media, both pilots commented on their pioneering journey.
“During my round the world balloon flight in 1999, the seven days I spent over the Pacific were the most nerve-wrecking and thrilling,” said Bertrand Piccard, Initiator and Chairman of Solar Impulse. “With Solar Impulse the flight should last for three days, but this time I am alone in the cockpit, so the intensity is no less important. Every morning you have the suspense of knowing how much energy is left in your batteries. Then, with the sunrise comes the virtuous circle of perpetual flight.”
“Last year we demonstrated that Solar Impulse is capable of flying five days and five nights non-stop: the airplane, the technologies, the human being,” commented André Borschberg, CEO and Pilot of Solar Impulse. “Now what we want to do is continue our flight around the world and demonstrate that these technologies can be used, not only in an airplane, but on the ground.”
During their stay in Hawaii the Solar Impulse team replaced the plane's batteries that were damaged during the record-breaking flight between Japan and Hawaii, which represented the first part of the mission's Pacific crossing.
Other stopovers this year could include Phoenix, locations in the mid-US, New York City, Europe or North Africa. Solar Impulse plans to return to Abu Dhabi and complete the circumnavigation of the world by the end of the summer 2016.
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