Solar Impulse 2 lands in Hawaii
Solar-powered aeroplane arrives in Honolulu after five-day journey.
Solar Impulse 2 arrived in Hawaii on Friday after a 118-hour journey across the Pacific Ocean.
The 8,261km flight from Nagoya, Japan to Honolulu made history as it was a feat that had never been accomplished in the world of aviation.
"Today we celebrate the most defying milestone of the Solar Impulse’s historic journey to circumnavigate the globe using only the power of the sun,” said HE Dr Sultan Al Jaber, UAE minister of state and chairman of Masdar.
“After battling against unpredictable and challenging weather conditions – and a gruelling five days of non-stop flight – the plane successfully crossed the Pacific Ocean. This flight is an incredible feat of human fortitude, endurance and technological ingenuity.
“We commend the entire Solar Impulse team and its pilots, Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg, for their perseverance to demonstrate the viability of clean technology and to further the collective goal of securing a sustainable future.”
On June 28th, the plane took off from Nagoya, with Andre Borschberg at the controls, for the solar team’s third attempt to make the historic non-stop Pacific Ocean flight powered solely by the sun.
The Monaco-based Mission Control Centre chose to divert course and land in Nagoya, Japan shortly after Borschberg’s earlier departure from Nanjing, China due to deteriorating weather conditions which would have jeopardised the mission’s success.
In the hours after landing in Nagoya, gusts of wind damaged Si2’s 72 metre wings, delaying the onward journey again.
The Pacific crossing was the eighth and most arduous leg of the 13 leg journey. Throughout the flight, Borschberg, alone in the single-seater 3.8m3 unpressurised cockpit, was exposed to extreme physical conditions.
After stopping in Hawaii, Bertrand Piccard will fly Si2 eastward towards Phoenix, to reach continental United States.
The journey will continue with a yet to be determined stop in Midwest America and a landing in New York City, at JFK International Airport.
After crossing the Atlantic, the solar powered plane will stop in either Southern Europe or North Africa, before completing its historic journey in its host city, Abu Dhabi.
The aircraft departed from Abu Dhabi on March 9 for Muscat, Oman and departed the following day for a trek across the Arabian Sea.