Solar Impulse 2: Solar Powered Plane Flies Across the Pacific

Solar Impulse 2: Solar Powered Plane Flies Across the Pacific


The Solar Impulse plane 2 is making a trip around the world to show the potential of clean energy . He spent several months without flying, but won the heavens again and managed to cross the Pacific Ocean.

solar-impulse-california

The pilot Bertrand Piccard took off from Hawaii and, after 62 hours of flight, landed successfully this Sunday at the Federal Airfield Moffett in Mountain View, California – the place belongs to NASA and is owned by Google .

Now the pilot André Borschberg will take the next step of the journey to New York. Then they will decide the next destination, based on weather conditions and what they learned from the project. The goal is to return to Abu Dhabi, where the aircraft took off in March 2015 .

The Solar Impulse 2 has 17,000 solar panels on the wing, moving four electric motors. It also carries four 942 kg lithium batteries, to fly during the day and evening.

These batteries do not withstood the trip made ​​between Japan and Hawaii last year . Two records were broken: the longest solo flight (117 hours and 52 minutes) and longest distance traveled by an aircraft powered by solar energy.

The batteries overheated and had to replace them and test them before the Solar Impulse 2 could fly again. He received new batteries and more cooling systems to prevent the problem from occurring again in the future; and passed 13 flight tests . The team also decided to wait for longer days in the northern hemisphere, taking off only in April.

This flight took 62 hours, and the pilot – monitored by a central control – could only doze for twenty minutes each time. Piccard and Borschberg received meditative training and hypnotics to maintain concentration.

During the trip, attached to a seat that serves up toiletries , Piccard told:

It’s a dream come true to fly a plane powered by the sun no pollution and no noise – it’s like being in a science fiction movie … Solar Impulse is showing what we can do with clean technologies. A clean revolution is moving now, and people who understand this will be successful in the future.

Low maximum speed of the Solar Impulse 2 (141 km / h) and the difficulties to put it down and store it – its wingspan of 72 m is very large – not make it a viable option for commercial flights. But the team behind the project know this: your goal is to educate the public about the potential of solar energy at a time when hit consecutive record high temperatures on the planet, and carbon emissions in the atmosphere.

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Solar Impulse 2: Solar Powered Plane Flies Across the Pacific

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