skip to main content

Solar Plane sets off on round-the-world adventure - 9th March

Solar Plane

After 12 years in the making, the Swiss built Solar Impulse 2 (SI2) has set off from Abu Dhabi on its 35,000 km flight around the world using only solar energy.

The aircraft has a 72 m wingspan and weighs just 2,300 km; approximately the same weight as an average car. There are almost 17,250 solar panels fitted on the wings which supply four electric motors with renewable energy and charge lithium batteries which allow the plane to fly at night.

The journey is predicted to take five months and is broken down into 12 legs; the first planned stop will be in Muscat, followed by Ahmedabad, Varanasi, Mandalay, Chongqing, Nanjing, Hawaii, Phoenix, mid-USA, New York and then a final stop in Southern Europe or Northern Africa before returning to Abu Dhabi. In total, the journey is anticipated to include 25 flight days with travel speeds varying between 31 mph and 62 mph.

Flying the aircraft are pilots Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg. Conditions will not always be favourable in the cramped, un-pressurised cockpit with a pilot seat that triples as a chair, bed and toilet. The men hope that a successful flight will prove “renewable energy can achieve the impossible”. Borschberg commented “With these technologies we can cope with a major part of the challenge we are facing today in terms of energy, environment, pollution, natural resources and so on.”

Before the flight took off and ahead of the UN Climate Change summit in Paris later this year, the pilots launched the #FutureIsClean initiative. Designed with Google, this aims to highlight the potential of green technologies and establish a petition to urge governments to utilise these technologies to tackle climate change.

For more information, click here.

Back to News

  • © 2014 Community Windpower Ltd
  • Company Registration Number: 04588923
  • VAT number: 845 147 422
Visit our BeGreen Website