Solar Impulse Landed After Atlantic Crossing

Solar Impulse 2 during the flight over the Atlantik (Source: Solar Impulse)

Solar Impulse 2 during the flight over the Atlantic (Source: Solar Impulse)

On its journey around the world, Solar Impulse 2 (Si2), the solar airplane of Swiss pioneers Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg, landed in Seville, Spain, after a flight of three days and three nights (71 hours and 8 minutes) without fuel, completing the crossing of the Atlantic Ocean with several world records. The transatlantic flight covered a distance of 6,765 km (4,203 miles) powered only by the sun, confirming Solar Impulse’s vision that clean technologies and renewable energy can achieve the impos­sible.

At the controls of Si2, Bertrand Piccard touched down at the Seville Airport at 7:38 am local time, after a historic flight of three days and three nights that took off from New York on 20 June at 2:30 am local time – at a maximum altitude of 8,534 m (28’000 feet) and average speed of 95.10 km/h (59 mph) – completing the first ever electric, solar and emission-free transatlantic flight while breaking several world records (pending FAI approval). Those include distance and altitude in the electric airplane category as well as distance along a pre-declared per­formance in the solar airplane category. The landing in Spain was welcomed by the Eagle Patrol of the Spanish Air Force. The mission will now continue onward to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates where the adventure started in March 2015.

Flight path of the solar powered airplane (Source: Solar Impulse)

Flight path of the solar powered airplane (Source: Solar Impulse)

“The Atlantic has always revealed the tran­sitions between the old and the new worlds. But while theses worlds used to be geo­graphical continents, today they are states of mind. The old world is the world of inefficient polluting devices, depleting the Earth’s resources. The new world is the world of modern clean techno­logies that can halve our global energy consumption, save natural resources and improve our quality of life. With this trans­atlantic flight our aim is to inspire the adoption of clean techno­logies everywhere,” said Bertrand Piccard.

Si2 is a concen­tration of clean techno­logies. It is a single-seater aircraft made of carbon fiber that has a 72 m wingspan for a weight of 2300 kg. The 17,248 solar cells built into the wing power the four batteries (38.5 kWh per battery) that in turn power the four electric engines (13.5 kW each) and the pro­pellers with renewable energy. The plane is there­fore capable of saving a maximum amount of energy during the day and flying throughout the night on batteries. Si2 requires zero fuel and has vir­tually unlimited autonomy: theore­tically, Si2 could fly forever and is only limited by the pilot’s sustaina­bility. (Source: Solar Impulse)

Link: Solar Impulse Project

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