Originally published on 1Sun4All.
Solar Impulse 2 (Si2) released news this morning that the attempt for the first ever round-the-world solar flight to inspire innovation and encourage the use of clean technologies, using the solar-powered airplane of Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg, will try again to make a historical oceanic flight that will last at least 5 days and 5 nights nonstop.
This morning, June 29th, 2015, at 3:03 am local time in Nagoya, Japan (6:03 pm GMT on June 28th), Swiss pilot André Borschberg took off in the single-seater aircraft from Nagoya endeavoring to reach Hawaii, in what will be the longest exploration leg of the Solar Impulse’s “Round-The-World” mission. The first 10 hours of flight were difficult for the team, which had to solve technical problems before giving the final go to head for Hawaii — when Solar Impulse 2 was already off the coast of Japan.
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This is a second attempt after diverting the first time around to Nagoya, Japan, following a takeoff from Nanjing, China. This flight will be demanding and challenging, particularly given its duration and the fact that no immediate landing is possible, and that it will be a feat never accomplished before in the world of aviation.
The attempt to reach Hawaii from Japan will represent a real-life test of endurance for the pilot while at the same time pushing the limits of the airplane to even new levels. Successfully arriving in Hawaii will prove that “the impossible” is achievable.
Bertrand Piccard said on Twitter: “The past 10 hours have been very difficult. We did not communicate because we did not know what to say.”
The real moment of truth still lies ahead. We are now at the point in the Round-the-World Solar Flight where everything comes together, the engineers who worked on the airplane for the last 12 years, the Mission Control Center who will have to predict weather and guide the airplane through good conditions, and Bertrand who had this vision 16 years ago of an airplane flying for days without fuel to change our mindset regarding the potential of clean technologies and renewable energies.—André Borschberg, Co-Founder, CEO and Pilot
André will venture into the unknown and demonstrate his courage by adapting to extreme circumstances, ranging from: living in a small, 3.8m3 cockpit; maintaining his confidence that the energy collected from the sun throughout the day will last through the night; and remaining physically and mentally alert throughout the entire journey. For this, André will sleep only for 20 minutes at a time and will use yoga and meditation to keep his body energy and mindset functioning well.
An airplane flying day and night without fuel is more than a spectacular milestone in aviation, it’s the living proof that clean technologies and renewable energies can achieve incredible feats; and that all these energy efficient technologies should now be used globally in order to have a cleaner world. Solar Impulse is the result of years of innovation from our partners and the hard work of our engineering team led by André. —Bertrand Piccard, Solar Impulse Initiator, Chairman and Pilot
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Photo, Video and Cartoon Credit: Solar Impulse