Solar Impulse takes off to attempt the completion of the Pacific crossing — VIDEO
KALAELOA, Hawaii — In silence, without using a drop of fuel, but with much wonder in the eyes of hundreds of enchanted supporters, Solar Impulse 2 (Si2) took off early April 21, 2016 at 6:15am Hawaii time to complete the crossing of the Pacific.
Si2, the solar airplane of Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg, capable of flying day and night powered only by the energy of the sun, will be airborne during Earth Day – a powerful symbol, and is expected to land at the Moffett Airfield in Mountain View, California, on 23 April. The flight, that should take three days depending on weather conditions, will be another challenging leg of the Round-The-World Solar Flight.
Bertrand Piccard took off today from Hawaii to North America – a journey similar to the one of American aviator Amelia Earhart, who set off from Honolulu for the first solo flight to California. Despite the many parallels between these flights, one significant difference remains: while Earhart’s airplane took off carrying more than 500 gallons of gasoline, Si2 flies with no fuel. Across the main wing, fuselage and horizontal stabilizer, 17’248 solar cells power the four lithium batteries, which in turn power the four motors and propellers, allowing Si2 to fly through the night towards the next dawn.
Experience the new 360° video “Explorers of the impossible” with exclusive shots from the airplane below.
Both men take turns piloting Si2 around the world, but have different respective roles within the project – while Piccard outlines the project’s vision, philosophy and political reach and brings together the partners to fund this adventure, Borschberg pulled together the team that designed and constructed Si2 and drives the airplane’s technological innovations into new engineering solutions. Together the two Swiss pioneers are attempting the first Round-The-World Solar Flight with no fuel, to support concrete actions for sustainability and demonstrate that the world can be run on clean technologies.
Photo courtesy of Solar Impulse
Source: Solar Impulse Press Release