The solar-powered aircraft began a round-the-world trip


Solar Impulse 2

The plane, moving due to solar energy, went on a round-the-world trip lasting for 5 months and a length of 20,000 miles. The voyage around the planet began on the morning of March 9, after Solar Impulse 2 landed in Oman, where he flew from Abu Dhabi.

Solar panels on the wings and fuselage of the Solar Impulse 2 charge four super-power batteries, which transmit energy to the motors at 17.4 hp each. It is enough that the aircraft flew at a speed similar to a developed professional cyclist, but hardly reaching the speed of an airplane on conventional fuel.

For comparison, a flight from the Emirates, which took 13 hours, a conventional aircraft takes only one hour. Originally supposed time – 12 hours – was increased due to a strong wind. In this flight the unit moved at an altitude of 5800 meters. In the next breakthrough across the Pacific Ocean to India, the flight is planned at an altitude of up to 8500 meters during the daylight hours when the aircraft receives more natural fuel, with a drop to 1500 meters at night.

Solar Impulse 2

The next destination is the Indian city of Varanasi, then Mandalay, Burma, after – Myanmar, then the course is laid on China, then – across the Pacific, and after the stop in Hawaii, the plane will land in Phoenix, USA. After that, fly to the American airport JFK. Then Solar Impulse 2 will fly over the Atlantic Ocean with a landing in either southern Europe or northern Africa, and finally return to Abu Dhabi.

The purpose of the event is not to create a new commercial means of transportation, because the characteristics of the unit are far from being profitable. Organizers simply want to prove that this is possible. One of the pilots, Bertrand Pickard, compared the expedition to the first flight to the Moon.

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