Originally published on 1Sun4All.
The first ever single-seater solar plane to enter China, Solar Impulse 2 (Si2), landed in Chongqing 20 hours and 29 minutes after departing from Myanmar, having covered 1,459 kilometers (788 NM, 907 miles).
Solar Impulse says that flying above the mountainous Chinese provinces of Yunnan and Sichuan required Bertrand Piccard to perform a steep climb at the beginning of the journey, and due to continuous flying at high altitude, he had to wear an oxygen mask in the 3.8m3 (3.8 cubic meters or 134.20 cubic feet) unpressurized cockpit in which he faced temperatures descending to -20 degrees celsius (-4 °F). In addition, tackling strong low-level winds in Chongqing made this flight one of the most challenging to date.
LIU Yadong, Deputy Director General of China Association of Science and Technology said: “We are very glad to collaborate with Solar Impulse to popularize edgy scientific knowledge among Chinese Youth.”
During its stay in China, and on the occasion of the 65th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Switzerland, the Solar Impulse team will honor the strong ties between both countries while organizing a series of events demonstrating that innovation is the key to sustainable development.
“China has become number one in wind power and in solar panel production, and if you look at how much efforts the Chinese government is making to increase the use of renewable energy to optimize the energy mix, there is no surprise that Solar Impulse is so well received in the country,” said pilots Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg, co-founders of Solar Impulse.
André Borschberg will be the pilot for the next flight to Nanjing which will take the zero-fuel airplane on about 1,190 km (642 NM, 739 miles) for an estimated time of 20 hours. That is not anticipated to happen before April 7.
History UK has partnered with Swiss Re, a reinsurance company based in Switzerland and the official insurance provider for the Solar Impulse Round-The-World attempt, to create the new Flight for the Future – Pioneers in Risk website. Together they are creating a series of 8 short films that explore the extreme risks Si2 faces, the future of renewable energy, and what it means to have a pioneering spirit.
The video above is the 1st from the Flight for the Future – Pioneers in Risk series and looks at some of the history of Solar Impulse and how it and Swiss Re became partners.
Video Credits: SOLAR IMPULSE and HISTORY – Swiss Re Corporate Solutions | Photo Credit: Solar Impulse on Twitter | Cartoon Credit: Martin Saive via Solar Impulse
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