World

Solar Impulse 2 lands in Seville after 71-hour flight

24 Jun 2016 | Written by Ramya ; Edited by Gaurav

Solar Impulse 2-the single-seat airplane solely powered by the solar energy after a 71-hour flight has safely landed in Seville, Spain.

It had left New York on 20th Jun'16 at 2:30 am EDT and traveled across the Atlantic; Swiss pilot Bertrand Piccard piloted it.

The three-day journey was the 15th leg and one of the longest runs of the inaugural fuel-less round-the-world flight.

In context: Around the world in a solar plane!

IntroductionWhat is Solar Impulse?

Solar Impulse is a Swiss solar-powered, long-range, experimental aircraft project; two operational airplanes are also named after the project.

Solar Impulse 1 was tested in Dec 2009 and completed 6 flight legs; Solar Impulse 2, tested in Jun'14, is more powerful than the first aircraft and started its round-the-world journey in Mar'15.

Project partners Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg share the aircraft flying duties.

Purpose of the project

The Solar Impulse project plans to achieve Earth's first circumnavigation by a piloted, fixed-wing airplane only by utilizing solar energy. The project isn't an example for future aviation; it only demonstrates and brings attention to the capabilities of solar power and clean technologies.
Love World news?
Stay updated with the latest happenings.

Design, FeaturesWider than a Boeing 747

With a 72-metre wingspan, Solar Impulse 2 is wider than a Boeing 747 and has over 17,000 built-in solar cells.

In the daytime, the airplane's batteries get charged by the solar panels that make up to a quarter of the plane's 2.3-tonne weight.

During the day, it can climb to 29,000 feet but at night comes down to 5,000 feet to save power.

Similar to the speed of an average car

The cruising speed of the Solar Impulse 2 is around 43 miles per hour or approximately 70 kilometers per hour, similar to the speed of an average car. The plane can go faster when the sun is bright as it provides more energy.

Flight LegsThe first eight flight legs in 2015

On 9th Mar'15, Solar Impulse 2 flew from Abu Dhabi to Muscat (772km) and then to Ahmedabad (1,593km) on 10th March.

On 18th March, Ahmedabad to Varanasi (1,170km) and then to Mandalay (1,536km).

From Mandalay, it traveled to Chongqing (1,636km) on 29th March and then to Nanjing (1,384km).

From Nanjing to Nagoya (2,942km) on 30th May, and then to Hawaii (8,924km) on 28th Jun'15.

Laid up for ten months

After reaching Hawaii on 28th Jun'15, due to the damage to its batteries, Solar Impulse 2 was forced to rest for ten months. The plane had to wait for repairs and for the return of optimum daylight length in northern hemisphere before flying.
Love World news?
Stay updated with the latest happenings.

Renewed ChallengeSolar Impulse returns to complete the mission

Solar Impulse 2 returned with a renewed challenge to fly around the world.

On 21st Apr'16, it traveled from Hawaii to California and then left for Arizona on 2nd May.

It flew from Arizona to Oklahoma on 12th May and from Oklahoma to Ohio on 21st May.

It traveled from Ohio to Pennsylvania on 25th May, and then to New York on 20th June.

24 Jun 2016Solar Impulse 2 lands in Seville after 71-hour flight

Atlantic LegFirst ever fuel-less Atlantic crossing

The zero-fuel airplane circumnavigating the globe also set a record by completing the first-ever fuel-less Atlantic crossing in its 15th leg.

The team would now plot a route to Abu Dhabi where the mission began in Mar'15.

Atlantic leg was initially planned to end in Paris like Charles Lindbergh's pioneering flight in 1927 but due to the storm forecast in Paris, Seville was chosen.

26 Jul 2016First round-the-world solar powered journey

The solar impulse plane landed in Abu Dhabi marking the first round-the-world journey completely powered by solar energy alone.

The pilots, Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg took alternate turns to fly the aircraft around the world.

The landing brings an end to the historic voyage spanning four continents, three seas and two oceans, that began on 9th March 2015 in Abu Dhabi.