The Solar Impulse 2 has become the first aircraft to circle the globe using solar energy after landing in Abu Dhabi on the last leg of its journey.
In its journey, the long-range solar-powered aircraft has travelled 26744 miles across four continents, three seas and two oceans since setting off from Abu Dhabi in March 2015.
Key features of Solar Impulse 2
- Solar Impulse 2 is a Swiss long-range solar-powered aircraft project. It is first aircraft to fly day and night without consuming conventional fuel in oder to promote renewable energy.
- Its construction was started in 2011. The first test flight of the aircraft was conducted in the United States in 2013.
- Structure: Single-seater aircraft made of carbon fibre. It has a 72 metre wingspan and weighs 2,300 kilo grams. It is solely propelled by the solar energy and emits zero Carbon dioxide (CO2).
- Solar cells: 17,248 solar cells inbuilt into its wings. These cells supply renewable energy to propel the electric motors of aircraft.
- These solar cells also recharge 4 lithium polymer batteries mounted on aircraft which allows it fly at night.
Journey of Solar Impulse 2
- In its 17-leg voyage, the aircraft has racked up 558 hours of flight time. The aircraft was piloted in turns by Markus Scherdel, Andre Borschberg and Bertrand Piccard.
- Started its journey from Abu Dhabi (UAE). Its first halt was in Muscat (Oman). Later halted in Ahmedabad and Varanasi in India.
- Later it had halted in Mandalay (Myanmar), Chongqing & Nanjing (China). It had made an unscheduled stop in Japan to await favourable weather over the Pacific.
- From Japan it crossed the Pacific Ocean via Hawaii (US) and flew across the United States, taking 3 stops at Phoenix, the Midwest and New York City.
- Then it crossed Atlantic Ocean and took halt in Seville, Spain in Europe. Later in its final leg it landed in Cairo, Egypt and completed its journey in Abu Dhabi.