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Solar Impulse Prepares For 5 Days & Nights Crossing Pacific Ocean

Originally published on 1Sun4All.

André Borschberg, co-founder and pilot of Solar Impulse 2 (Si2), has rejoined the Si2 team in Nanjing, China, and is preparing for the biggest flight for the solar-powered airplane to date.

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.

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.

solar impulse

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.

André Borschberg added on Twitter: “Spending as much time as possible in #Si2‘s cockpit, which will be my home for 5 days and 5 nights above the Pacific.”

André Borschberg also said on twitter: “In the future, we might want to develop an unmanned version of Solar Impulse.”

solar impulse

Photo Credit: Solar Impulse | Cartoon Credit: Martin Saive via Solar Impulse 


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Written By

-- I am an artist, painter, writer, interior designer, graphic designer, and constant student of many studies. Living with respect for the environment close at hand, the food chain, natural remedies for healing the earth, people and animals is a life-long expression and commitment. As half of a home-building team, I helped design and build harmonious, sustainable and net-zero homes that incorporate clean air systems, passive and active solar energy as well as rainwater collection systems. Private aviation stirs a special appeal, I would love to fly in the solar airplane and install a wind turbine in my yard. I am a peace-loving, courageous soul, and I am passionate about contributing to the clean energy revolution. I formerly designed and managed a clean energy website, 1Sun4All.com.

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