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Science & Technology

Solar plane begins record-breaking flight

By T.K. Randall
March 9, 2015 · Comment icon 7 comments

Solar Impulse 2 preparing for takeoff. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 4.0 Milko Vuille
Two pilots are attempting to fly around the world in a solar powered airplane called Solar Impulse 2.
Swiss pilots Andre Borschberg and Bertrand Piccard will be flying the aircraft during the record-breaking attempt that will see it circumnavigate the globe beginning and ending at Abu Dhabi.

Powered by nothing but the sun, the plane will stop several times along the way for the pilots to rest and to carry out maintenance. The first leg of the journey began earlier this morning and will see Andre Borschberg fly 400km to the first stop in Oman.

"I am confident we have a very special aeroplane, and it will have to be to get us across the big oceans," he said. "We may have to fly for 5 days and 5 nights to do that, and it will be a challenge."
The record attempt comes just a few months after the International Energy Agency announced that solar energy was likely to become the world's dominant form of power by the year 2050.

"I had this dream 16 years ago of flying around the world without fuel, just on solar power," said Piccard. "Now, we're about to do it. The passion is there and I look forward so much to being in the cockpit."

Source: BBC News | Comments (7)

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by bubblykiss 8 years ago
God speed to them. I only wish them luck on the voyage.
Comment icon #2 Posted by paperdyer 8 years ago
I wish them luck as well. I see from the picture they have corporate sponsors to help offset the development costs.
Comment icon #3 Posted by Merc14 8 years ago
Getting 5 days of clear weather all the way across the Pacific will be tough and I doubt this thing could take much turbulence.
Comment icon #4 Posted by DieChecker 8 years ago
Over the oceans will be where the big challenge is. If they have to set down in the water, the adventure is all over. Good luck to them.
Comment icon #5 Posted by grc 8 years ago
Piccard is there so I have faith in this . On the serious side I really hope they make it through safe and sound. Max respect and God speed to you guys!
Comment icon #6 Posted by Still Waters 8 years ago
A record-breaking attempt to fly around the world in a solar-powered plane is set to get under way on Monday. The aircraft - called Solar Impulse-2 - will take off from Abu Dhabi and head east, first to Oman, and then to India. Over the next five months, it will skip from continent to continent, crossing both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans in the process. http://www.bbc.co.uk...onment-31772140 The BBC have updated this link. It now reads - "Solar Impulse: Global flight completes first leg" In today's news - Poor weather has delayed Solar Impulse 2's departure from India on the next leg of its... [More]
Comment icon #7 Posted by Still Waters 8 years ago
Latest - Solar Impulse, the solar-powered plane attempting to fly around the world, has completed the first leg in a two-hop journey from India to Myanmar.Solar Impulse, with Andre Borschberg at the controls, left Ahmedabad early on Wednesday, touching down a little over 13 hours later in darkness in Varanasi. It will be just a short "pit stop" in India's northeast before the vehicle pushes on over the Bay of Bengal. http://www.bbc.co.uk...onment-31924883

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