Published on April 23rd, 2015 | by Amber Archangel0
Solar Impulse 2 Unwinds In Nanjing — Next Stop, USA! (Cartoons)
April 23rd, 2015 by Amber Archangel
Originally published on 1Sun4All.
Solar Impulse says that, following the 20-day stay in Chongqing, Solar Impulse 2 (Si2), the world’s most advanced solar-powered airplane and the first to fly day and night without fuel, is busy in Nanjing, China, with Solar Impulse Partners, spreading the Round-The-World message and presenting the latest clean and green technology to the public, as well as Chinese developers, architects, urban designers, and planners.
My job as a pilot was relatively easy. The preparatory measures however proved challenging for our team of weather specialists and engineers from SI’s Partner Altran at the Monaco Control Center.
We simulated all possible trajectories and exhausted all different strategies to get Solar Impulse 2 in the air; from defining pit-stops at airports along the route, to different speeds, altitudes and holding patterns. Throughout the entire process, the Chinese authorities have been unfailingly helpful and open to our ideas.
We are amazed by the spirit of our team and the willingness of our partners to help us achieve our goal: The first Round-The-World flight without fuel. —Bertrand Piccard, Solar Impulse Initiator and Chairman.
This journey was also essential from a technical perspective as it was used to verify and fine-tune final elements in the preparation of the Pacific Ocean crossing scheduled for early May, pending favorable weather conditions. This last leg is bringing Solar Impulse one step closer to an aviation first – the next part of the circumnavigation will require flying in a solar-powered aircraft to cross the Pacific, a feat that has never been accomplished before.
Nanjing represents a turning point in the entire mission; this is where everything comes together for us as pilots after initiating the project 12 years ago. This is the moment of truth where all the technical and human challenges will have to be overcome.
We now have less than a month to mentally and physically prepare for what will be Solar Impulse’s longest flight to date: a five day and five night journey across the Pacific Ocean from Nanjing to Hawaii. —André Borschberg, Co-founder, CEO and Pilot of Solar Impulse.
André Borschberg is currently in his home country Switzerland, where he traveled last week to be evaluated and treated for migraine symptoms and a minor skin condition. André will return to the Solar Impulse team later this week to begin the final preparations for the next leg to the island of Oahu, Hawaii, in the USA.
Information on Flight 6: Chongqing to Nanjing, China
Pilot: Bertrand Piccard, Initiator and Chairman of Solar Impulse
When: Take-off at 6:06 am local time on April 21st, 2015 (10:06 pm GMT on April, 20th, 2015)
Landed at 11:28 pm local time China on April 21st, 2015 (3:28 pm GMT on April 21th, 2015)
Flight time: 17:22 hours
Maximum altitude: 4,270 m, 14,009 ft
Maximum ground speed: 95 km/h, 59 mph
Flight distance: 1,241 km, 771 miles