Originally published on 1Sun4All.
André Borschberg, cofounder, CEO, and pilot of Solar Impulse 2 (Si2), is at the controls of the first solar-powered airplane to attempt to make a historical oceanic flight nonstop to Hawaii from Nagoya, Japan.
André Borschberg tweeted this around 23 hours into the flight, “Enjoying every moment of this flight. Getting to this point has been challenging.”
At the time I write this, André has flown 33% of the 7,200 km (4,474 miles) of this journey. He’s covered 2,784 km (1,729 miles), leaving 5,556 km (3,452 miles) to travel before he touches down on the island of Oahu, USA. He is 1 day and 15 hours into the journey, and according to Solar Impulse, André has had 290 minutes of possible rest, but has slept an estimate of only 170 minutes in the 3.8m3 (134.20 cubic feet) cockpit. 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 not very big.
André Borschberg said on Twitter around 1 day and 14 hours into the flight, “Not bored at all! Conditions are tough at 20’000 feet above the Pacific.
Information on Flight 8: Nagoya, Japan, to Kalaeloa, Hawaii:
- Pilot: André Borschberg, Solar Impulse Cofounder and CEO
- When: Takeoff at 3:03 am local time Japan at 6:03 pm GMT on June 28th
- Expected flight time: 120 hours
- Expected flight distance: 7,200 km (4,474 miles)
Delays Due to Weather Are Part of Aviation Adventures and the Exploration of Space
Did you know that the launch date for Mercury-Atlas 6 spacecraft, named Friendship 7, was first announced on January 16, 1962, according to Wikimedia. After being postponed to January 20, John Glenn was on board Mercury 6 on January 27 and ready to launch, when, at T-29 minutes, the flight director called off the launch because of thick clouds.
A large crowd of reporters who had gathered at Cape Canaveral for the launch went home disappointed and the launch was postponed until February 1.
On February 14, the launch was again postponed due to weather. Finally, on February 18, the weather started to break. It appeared that February 20, 1962, would be a favorable day to attempt a launch. Astronaut John Glenn performed three orbits of the Earth, making him the first US astronaut to orbit the planet.
André Borschberg tweeted while waiting for a good weather window, “We need to be patient: if we lose the airplane by taking the wrong window, the @solarimpulse project is over.”
Solar Impulse said, “Flying across oceans without fuel means taking renewable energy to the ultimate level. Cast your vote on futureisclean.org if you believe as strongly as we do in clean technologies’ crucial role in the energetic transition.”
Solar Impulse tweeted the following around 1 day and 11 hours into the flight: “
#Si2 reached altitude of 28,000 feet at which it will remain at for a little over 1 hour, while it’s -20°C (-4 F) outside.”
Video, Photo and Cartoon Credit: Solar Impulse
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