The solar aircraft named “Solar Impulse 2” took off from China on Saturday night heading to Hawaii, the most dangerous stop on its journey around the world during which, the Swiss pilot Andre Borschberg will have to manage to pilot himself the aircraft for six nights and six days with no help at all!
The Solar Impulse 2, that as the name gives away, flies only with energy, took off at 02:40 local time from Nankin (or Nanjing) a Chinese town located in eastern China where it had landed on April 21st. It was scheduled to take off earlier but its departure had been postponed many times due to bad weather conditions.
Solar Impulse 2 had never flew again over the ocean nor had it stay on air more than 24 hours. That means that if this journey is accomplished over the Pacific Ocean, it will be a historical breakthrough and an aeronautical achievement.
62 year old Andre Borschberg will have to fly a distance a distance of 8,500 miles. He will only be given short 20 minute breaks to sleep and other than that he will not be able to interrupt the flight, not even to visit the bathroom. But don’t worry, his seat will have a WC system.
Every day the pilot will fly over the mountain tops of Himalaya at a height of approximately 8,400 metres and he will have to stand temperatures of 55 degrees in his one seated cabin with no atmospheric pressure.
In case of serious damage during the flight, the Swiss pilot will have to jump with a parachute in the ocean for hundreds of kilometres with no help.
The Solar Impulse 2 whose wings are covered by 17,000 photovoltaics cells flew for the first time at March 9th from Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates) to make the trip around the world. The Purpose of this trip is to promote renewable energy sources and especially solar energy.
So far the aircraft has stopped at Oman the sultan, Myanmar, and China and the cockpit there are two pilots, one is Andre Borschberg who has been mentioned above and the other one is the Swiss explorer Bertrand Piccard.
Flying around the world with solar energy is a clever idea and pretty hard to achieve. It requires the collaboration of numerous people who will do their best to make sure that the whole operation is safe and yet reachable.
Completing the trip around the world will be a great way to promote solar energy and also a great technological achievement that will most likely create new ways for the evolution of technology on various levels.
We wish to the two pilots best of luck. May they complete the trip safely and prove to the world that it is time we start using renewable energy sources. It’s not like we will have a choice in the near future if we keep living with today’s rhythms. So let this be a good lesson for all of us and a proof that it can be done.