SOLAR IMPULSE A milestone in history for clean energy

SOLAR IMPULSE A milestone in history for clean energy

11.05.2015: Scheduled Take-Off Nanjing to Hawaii appr. 12.05.2015 The solar-powered Solar Impulse 2 airplane faces its moment

Scheduled Take-Off Nanjing to Hawaii appr. 12.05.2015


The solar-powered Solar Impulse 2 airplane faces its moment of truth this week on its round-the-world journey when the airplane powered by 17,000 solar cells embarks on an historic five-day solo flight of discovery from China to Hawaii.  


Swiss pilot André Borschberg will take off on the record-breaking five-day non-stop flight across the Pacific Ocean in the solar-powered airplane Solar Impulse 2 that will be the ultimate test for man and machine.


In a spectacular demonstration of the potential for renewable energy, the single-seat 2,300-kilogram airplane will not use a single drop of fossil fuel during its 8,175-kilometer long flight from Nanjing in northeastern China to Hawaii that is expected to last 120 hours.


The unprecedented and perilous flight –- the seventh and longest leg of the 12-stop around the world journey – will also be the greatest challenge a solo pilot has ever faced, in an airplane that is powered by entirely from the renewable energy harvested from the 17,000 solar cells on its wings.


 “It’s the moment of truth for our engineering team – everyone is tense,” said Borschberg, 62, who will only take brief 20-minute long power naps when possible in order to stay alert for 120 straight hours in the cramped unpressurized, unheated cockpit while enduring extreme temperatures ranging from 35 degrees to minus 20 degrees Celsius.


 “I’m confident in their abilities and I’ll do my best to take their ‘baby’ safely to Hawaii. This is a real test of endurance and alertness.”


Borschberg will fly to an altitude of 9,000 meters during the day, attempting to stay above any cloud cover to collect as much solar energy as possible, and will descend to 1,500 meters at night – gliding at times with the engines switched off -- to conserve energy as the airplane flies towards Hawaii at speeds averaging less than 100 kilometers per hour. 


The zero-emission Solar Impulse 2 took off on its 35,000-kilometer journey around the world to promote the use of renewable energy from Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates in March, with Borschberg and fellow Swiss adventurer Bertrand Piccard taking turns at the controls of the plane with its 72-meter wingspan.


 The airplane has so far had stops in Oman, India, Myanmar and China. The longest flight so far was 20 hours. It is expected back in Abu Dhabi in July.



For more information and livestream: www.solarimpulse.com



Markus Büttner- photo Solar Impulse

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/solar-impulse-milestone-history-clean-energy---136186.html

11.05.2015 / MaP

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