Solar Impulse 2 left New York on Monday 20th June and landed in Seville, Spain on 23rd June at 7.30 am. The total flight time was 71 hours and 8 minutes and now means that the aircraft has crossed both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.
Solar Impulse 2 is attempting the first renewably powered circumnavigation of the globe and is now nearing the end of its 35,000km journey. The trip started in July 2015 and will finish back at the starting point in Abu Dhabi. The immediate next steps are to negotiate a route back to Abu Dhabi via Egypt or Greece.
Solar Impulse 2 has a wingspan of 72m and weighs more than 2 tons. It is powered by more than 17000 solar cells and achieves an average speed of 75 km/h.
Just like the Bloodhound project, the Solar Impulse 2 team are providing an educational platform around their project, giving resources to schools and universities as well as providing opportunities for live hangouts with members of the team.
Why Solar ?
Pilot, Bertrand Piccard’s vision is that clean technologies and energy efficiency can reduce emissions and improve quality of life. Achieving his aim of flying around the world without fuel or pollution the project is meeting with public enthusiasm for exploration into the capabilities of renewable energies. People are keen to reduce emissions and reliance on fossil fuels as well as creating sustainable growth.
Bertrand Piccard, along with his co pilot Andre Borschberg want to show the world that clean technologies can achieve major (and sometimes seemingly impossible) goals. With the right level of promotion and investment renewable technologies can help achieve sustainable development. But the pilots are keen to point out that the success of the project is also down to the wider team of engineers, technicians and ground controllers, as well as hundreds of partners and advisers all of whom share their vision for sustainability.
Bertrand Piccard is no stranger to scientific development and exploration, with his father and grandfather both being responsible for major achievements. With grandfather Auguste came the pressurised capsule and the first flight into the stratosphere. With father Jacques came the Bathyscaphe and the absolute deep sea diving record. And now Bertrand is responsible for the first non stop round the world balloon flight and Solar Impulse 2.
All 3 generations have shared the same vision to reduce pollution and improve sustainability as shown in the following quotes taken from the Solar Impulse website.
“The question now is not so much whether humans can go even further afield and populate other planets, but rather how to organize things so that life on Earth becomes more worthy of living.”
Auguste Piccard, 1931
“The public has not yet woken up to the extent and seriousness of the problem of pollution.”
Jacques Piccard, 1972
“Adventure in the 21st Century consists of applying human creativity and the pioneering spirit to developing a quality of life which present and future generations have a right to expect.”
Bertrand Piccard, 2004
Jon Excell of The Engineer recently interviewed the Solar Impulse 2 team. Click here to read the full interview
Image: Stefatou/Solar Impulse | Stefatou | Rezo