Originally published on 1Sun4All.
Solar Impulse yesterday released the great news that Solar Impulse 2 landed in Ahmedabad, India, after crossing the Arabian Sea, completing the longest distance ever flown by a solar airplane in aviation history.
Bertrand Picard tweeted: “It is fantastic to arrive in
#India powered by the sun!”
After an 11-hour pit-stop in Muscat, Oman, made by Solar Impulse’s CEO and co-founder André Borschberg, the attempt of achieving the first round-the-world solar flight continued onwards to India. Bertrand Piccard piloted Solar Impulse 2 (Si2) from Muscat to Ahmedabad, India, flying across the Arabian Sea and setting a distance world record for straight distance, pre-declared waypoints record by travelling 1,468 km (912 miles) during Si2’s flight, subject to validation by FAI (Fédération Aéronautique Internationale). The record of straight distance, pre-declared waypoints 1,386.5 km (861 miles) was previously held by André Borschberg during the Si1 Across America mission in 2013.
André Borschberg tweeted: “Welcome back on the ground Bertrand Picard! I could not be happier, you did an amazing flight!”
The landing in Ahmedabad occurred at 11:25 pm local time (5:55 pm GMT) after 13 hours and 20 minutes of flight, reaching an altitude of 8,534 meters (30,000 feet) with a ground speed of roughly 100 knots (115 mph).
“More important to us than the world record is the fact that Solar Impulse 2 is the first solar airplane to fly in Asia. It is also an honor of being welcomed by the state of Gujarat, a visionary state which leads India in terms of solar installation,” said Piccard and Borschberg.
The Solar Impulse team will stay 4 days in Ahmedabad for visits and events organized with the support of partners in order to promote renewable energies and clean technologies, like the ones making it possible for this revolutionary prototype to fly day and night with zero fuel.
The next legs of the round-the-world attempt will include Varanasi and Mandalay, Myanmar, before reaching China. The pilots and co-founders of Solar Impulse will continue to take turns flying in the single-seater aircraft.
Photo Credit: Bertrand Piccard was welcomed by André Borschberg in Ahmedabad India, after having set a World Record via Solar Impulse | RTW Map via Solar Impulse
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