Originally published on 1Sun4All.
Bertrand Piccard, piloting Solar Impulse 2 (Si2) from Chongqing in the People’s Republic of China, safely landed in Nanjing, also in the People’s Republic of China — after a delay of 3 weeks and to expressed relief of the crew. This flight was not given a “full green flag,” meaning a complete go from the Meteorology team. The flight had “a little yellow” in the evaluation and there was concern from Meteorology Expert Luc Trullemans, mainly due to the cumulus clouds.
Bertrand Piccard said on Twitter: “Today’s flight was like a miracle, because the weather was bad yesterday and will be bad tomorrow.”
Soon after takeoff, Si2 went through turbulence. ATC gave the green light for Bertrand Piccard to climb up to 14,000 feet, which is higher than planned. After that, the flight went smoothly, lifting the spirits of the entire Solar Team! MCC had the honor of hosting Christian Masset, the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who spoke with Bertrand Piccard about #futureisclean.
— André Borschberg (@andreborschberg) April 21, 2015
The aircraft will remain in Nanjing for approximately 10 days before the first possible takeoff to cross the Pacific. The next flight is the most challenging since the beginning of the #RTW.
André Borschberg was scheduled to fly this sixth leg and the last of segment 1. However, he is recovering from an illness in Switzerland. He is returning to health and plans to arrive in Nanjing within days to prepare for the BIG FLIGHT OVER THE PACIFIC from there. The flight over the Pacific Ocean will be one of the most extraordinary feats in the history of aviation.
I don’t know if you heard Bertrand Piccard in the takeoff video from Chongqing. He nearly shouted: “Wow! Finally! Great to be in the air again!”
Raymond Clerc, the Mission Flight Director for Si2 said, “This is the most difficult leg for weather.”
The next adventure for Si2 is the takeoff for its 7th flight, the first of segment 2, from Nanjing, China, to Hawaii (Kalaeloa Airport, JRF/PHJR) in the United States of America.
The pilot — anticipated to be André Borschberg — will fly the zero-fuel airplane on about 8,172 km (4,412 NM, 5,077 miles) for an estimated time of 120 hours. The flight across the Pacific is a feat of endurance for the pilot, and for the support teams that constantly monitor and plan for Si2’s route. Over 5 days, the pilot will head for the small target of the Hawaiian Islands.
Join the Movement: FutureIsClean.org #FutureIsClean. By clicking ‘I Agree’ to this effort, your voice will be heard in Paris at the UN Climate Change Conference that will take place in November and December of 2015.
Video and Photo Credit: Solar Impulse | Cartoon Credit: Martin Saive via Solar Impulse