Originally published on 1Sun4All.
It has been announced on Twitter that André Borschberg will pilot the most energy-efficient airplane in the world from the most populous country in the world, China, to the very small island of Oahu, Hawaii. This is a first in aviation history and will be a feat of human endurance for the pilots and the support teams that constantly monitor and plan for Si2’s route. The first possible date for the epic Pacific Crossing is Tuesday, May 5.
— SOLAR IMPULSE (@solarimpulse) April 30, 2015
The flight across the Pacific is projected to last 120 hours, 5 days, and 5 nights in a very small cockpit that is 3.8 m3 (3.8 cubic meters or 134.20 cubic feet). I worked this out in feet and found that a measurement for 134 cubic feet could be approximately 4.5 feet wide, by 5 feet tall, by 6 feet long. That’s pretty small. It’s smaller than one of my clothing closets and it freaked me out when I sat in it and closed the door. This is also an unpressurized and unheated cockpit, so the pilots experience temperatures that range from -40°C to +40°C (-40°F to +104° F). That’s extreme.
Bertrand Piccard said on Twitter: “We are very proud to have Chinese characters on Solar Impulse.”
Si2 will land at the Kalaeloa Airport which is a general aviation reliever airport for Honolulu International Airport, located on the western side of the island, near Ewa Beach. Users of the airport are the US Coast Guard, the Hawaii Community College Flight Program, the Hawaii National Guard, and the general aviation community.
— SOLAR IMPULSE (@solarimpulse) April 26, 2015
André Borschberg also said on twitter: “In the future, we might want to develop an unmanned version of Solar Impulse.”
Photo Credit: Solar Impulse | Cartoon Credit: Martin Saive via Solar Impulse