Plane crosses ocean without fuel

1 Jun 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Plane flies across world on empty tank.

THE revolutionary Solar Impulse 2 aircraft took off early for a six-day, six-night flight over the Pacific Ocean, the most ambitious leg of its quest to circumnavigate the globe powered only by the sun. Google’s solar powered Internet drone may have just tanked in a desert, but other sun-powered fliers are still going strong, including the Solar Impulse plane, which has just taken off on a nearly 5,000 mile journey across the Pacific, from Nanjing, China, to Hawaii. Pilot Andre Borschberg, 62, left the ground in Nanjing, in eastern China, heading for the US island of Hawaii, on Sunday morning, after extended delays awaiting a suitable weather window over safety concerns. “We have a good weather window, which means we have a stable corridor to reach Hawaii,” he said, shortly before climbing into the cockpit to test the instruments. Borschberg, whose progress will be monitored the entire way from a control room in Monaco, will try to stay awake for much of that time, taking only short catnaps. Later he described the flight as “unbelievable”, saying he felt both physically and mentally prepared for the first night. .andreborschberg is on his way for the longest ever #solar flight in both distance and duration! #futureisclean pic.twitter.com/8R6ar5jevv

— SOLAR IMPULSE (solarimpulse) May 30, 2015

Five days, five nights, and no breaks—the longest leg of Solar Impulse’s journey around the world is being called the “moment of truth” for one of the most promising solar planes. The real endurance test here doesn’t fall on the technology though, but rather, on Andre Borschberg, the man who will be piloting the craft throughout its 130-hour nonstop flight. The pilot, André Borschberg, who is CEO of Solar Impulse, rested for only one hour during the first 17 hours of the flight. “Yoga keeps him energised,” Solar Impulse tweeted on Sunday evening. “We are very happy to see our plane fly [after a long wait],” Elke Neumann, a press officer at Solar Impulse, told Gulf News over the phone from Nanjing. “We are now wishing all the best to André who is already nearly 24 hours up in the sky,” she said on Sunday evening. According to CNN, Borschberg will spend the entire trip inside the plane’s 3.8 square meter cockpit, strapped to a seat that doubles as a bed, exercise machine and toilet.

Borschberg told before departure that it’s more in the end about him as it’s going to be an inner-voyage, adding that it’s going to be a discovery about how he feels and how he sustain himself during these five or six days in the air. Borschberg, in the single-seater 3.8 cubic metre unpressurised cockpit, will be exposed to extreme conditions over the world’s largest body of water.

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