Solar Impulse 2, the airplane that works with the help of sun power has landed in Hawaii after flying 7,200 Km across the Pacific starting from Japan, accomplishing its first of its kind ‘legendary’ journey.
Solar Impulse was landed on the runway of Kalaeloa Airport at 05.55 local time by the Pilot Andre Borschberg. The time that the plane spent in the air was calculated to be 118 hours. This is the most number of hours in the air for any solar powered airplane.
The pilot of Solar Impulse, Andre Borschberg bettered the previous record of Steve Fossett, who spent 76 hours in a single seater jet in 2006. It is interesting to note that Mr. Borschberg did not feel tired at all after the flight. He said, “I am also astonished. We got so much support during the flight from so many people; it gave me so much energy.”
He told the reporters that he is excited to take a shower and visit steakhouses. Borschberg added,
“We have some work to do, and to meet people, because I am sure a lot of people will want to see the airplane and discuss its technologies. But there is no way we shouldn’t try some surfing.”
Bertrand Piccard is the partner of Mr. Borschberg on the Solar Impulse project and he met Borschberg in Hawaii. The team of two is sharing duties in order to fly all around the world. They began flying the Solar Impulse plane in Abu Dhabi in March 2015. The aircraft was stuffed with oxygen bottles, a parachute and a life raft for the adverse circumstances. Solar Impulse had taken a long break in China since March to May-end.
The next leg of the Solar Impulse flight from Hawaii to Phoenix will be completed by Mr. Piccard. He takes over the controls of the plane from Mr. Borschberg in Hawaii.
After Phoenix, the Solar Impulse will fly to New York and an Atlantic crossing that would mean the plane will return back to Abu Dhabi.
The ground crew of Solar Impulse in Kalaeloa is checking over the aircraft now and the process might take a few days for the plane to take off again.
Solar Impulse is a lightweight and the wingspan of the aircraft measure up to 72m. It flies with a slow speed and hence, an ample of constraints are being imposed on the aircraft for what kind of weather it can fly in. However, Solar Impulse aircraft is the future and the experts are confident about the same.
The cockpit of the solar impulse plane is 3.8 square meters in size and the special seat assigned to the pilot also lets him relax in the bed like incliner. If the weather is fine and no turbulence is experienced, the pilots can also leave the flight on the auto mode. However, the pilot can rest only 20 minutes at a time.