Originally published on 1Sun4All.
I hope you are enjoying the coverage of the bold attempt by Solar Impulse 2 to go where no solar airplane has gone — around the entire world, powered only by the sun.
There was drama on the tarmac in Ahmedabad, India. If you missed it, I highly recommend watching the video of the departure. We will know more of the details about the delay and how it was resolved over the next several days. I look forward to hearing about the armed men standing close to the airplane (see photo below).
It’s very possible that the power of social media stepped up to help get our beloved Solar Impulse 2 (Si2) into the brightening morning sunlight, on its way to the spiritual capital of India, often referred to as “the holy city of India,” Varanasi.
Because of the delayed departure, André Borschberg encountered more turbulence than the team had planned for, and Si2 operated very well through it.
Bertrand Picard tweeted:
— Bertrand PICCARD (@bertrandpiccard) March 18, 2015
André Borschberg said on Twitter:
— André Borschberg (@andreborschberg) March 18, 2015
Bertrand Picard added on Twitter: “Before having the stamp, you are nobody. Thank you all for your support,” with the picture above attached.
The potential for delays is always present in a mission with an experimental aircraft. They can come from the weather not showing the team the conditions they need, to technical issues. Bureaucracy is also a player, and hopefully this mission will not encounter it again.
The temperature in Si2’s unpressurized cockpit while flying over the oceans will range from 20 degrees Celsius to negative 20. When this contrast is added to the stresses of resting only for 20 minutes at a time, for up to 5 days, and being dependent on an oxygen system that cannot be repaired by landing the plane — if issues arise, they must be addressed while the airplane is flying — we can understand the intense training Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg have engaged in is critical to the success of this mission.
Want to know more about the human challenges of the round-the-world attempt? Check out: Human Challenges of 1st RTW Flight by Solar Impulse (VIDEO)
Video Credit: SOLAR IMPULSE | Photo Credit: Solar Impulse 2 RTW via Solar Impulse