Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Solar Impulse 2 begins round-the-world flight

Two years ago, after reporting on Solar Impulse landing in New York to complete its cross-country flight, I added this postscript.*
After landing in NYC, this plane is now retired and apparently not a moment too soon.  Piccard and company may be done with this particular prototype, but they are not done with solar powered flight.  They plan a more ambitious round-the-world flight in 2015
It's 2015 and Vox reports that the very first solar-powered flight around the world is underway.
Who says there are no world records left to set? On Monday, two Swiss pilots flew from Abu Dhabi to Oman in a solar-powered airplane — the initial leg of an epic effort to complete the very first solar flight around the world.

The ultralight plane, the Solar Impulse 2, features 17,000 solar cells on top of its 236-foot wings, as well as four lithium-polymer batteries that store up energy during the day to power the craft at night. It builds on a previous solar plane, the Solar Impulse 1, which successfully crossed the United States.

The two pilots, Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg, will take turns flying this new craft as it goes from city to city across the entire globe over the next five months.
Read the rest of the article for the importance of the plane and its journey, but only after viewing CBC's The National Solar Impulse 2 takes off for historic around-the-world attempt.

Two pilots are planning to fly a solar-powered plane around the world.

Safe flying.  This Crazy Eddie is rooting for you.

Follow over the jump for the footnote.

*This blog's coverage of Solar Impulse's 2013 cross-country flight:

Energy news from California

Solar Impulse landing in Cincinnati tonight

Solar Impulse goes coast-to-coast but not finished yet

Solar Impulse flying to New York City

Solar Impulse lands in New York

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