Originally published on 1Sun4All.
Solar Impulse 2 (Si2) took off at 6.35am (02:35UTC) on the second flight in this round-the-world journey from Muscat (Muscat International Airport, MCT/OOMS) in the Sultanate of Oman to Ahmedabad (Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport, AMD/VAAH) in the Republic of India. According to Solar Impulse, Bertrand Piccard landed at 11.25pm local time, 17:55UTC. This is the second flight of 12 to be successfully completed.
Bertrand Piccard piloted the “fast feather flying” across 1465km (791NM, and 910 miles) for an estimated time of 15 hours. This was the first flight for Si2 over an ocean.
Technical data at Solar Impulse says Si2 lands at a speed of 30–33 knots (between 35 and 38 miles per hour), with no tail wind and a maximum headwind of 4 knots.
Winds and gusts make landing Si2 extremely challenging due to its light weight and broad wingspan. The pilot must keep a steady heading and slow rate of descent in order not to damage the landing gear.
Along the side of the runway are the ground crew, needed to stabilize the plane as it rolls to a standstill. The outer motors are docked in order to minimise the risk of injury to the awaiting crew.
While the experimental aircraft is flying, you can watch how the solar cells and batteries are operating in real time at Solar Impulse Cockpit, as well as the flight profile and status of the pilot.
Tweets from the flight include:
- 10:00AM UTC: Before entering Indian airspace, Bertrand Picard at FL250 (25,000ft) in an unpressurized cabin, -5°C (23°F). And: #solarimpulse batteries are full!
- 8:00AM UTC: Bertrand Picard puts on another layer as he climbs up to 27,000ft in #Si2 over the Arabian sea.
- Bertrand Picard: “When I relax, I breathe so slowly that it triggers the cockpit alarm!”
Photo Credits: 2015-03-10 Solar Impulse 2 RTW 2nd Flight Muscat to Ahmedabad Take-off Stefatou-0811 & 0808 via Solar Impulse