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Old 20-01-15, 13:31   #1
 
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Update VIDEOs-Solar Plane Takes Off for 1st Flight Across the World

Solar Plane Set for Round the World Flight from Abu Dhabi

(Agencies) / 20 January 2015

Solar Impulse 2 will return to Abu Dhabi after a five-month journey with stops in Oman, India, China, Hawaii and New York, travelling 35,000km.







An Emirati man takes a picture of himself in front of the Solar Impulse 2. -AFP photos


Abu Dhabi - A plane powered by the sun will attempt an unprecedented flight around the world next month, the project’s founders said, seeking to prove that flying is possible without using fossil fuel.


Solar Impulse 2 is set to take off from Abu Dhabi and its route, which was unveiled on Tuesday in Abu Dhabi, includes stops in Oman, India, China, Hawaii and New York. It will cross the Pacific Ocean and fly across the United States and southern Europe to arrive back in Abu Dhabi.
Although groundbreaking in its distance, the trip will not be undertaken at a lightning pace.

On its five-month journey of 35,000km, the engines will be powered only by solar energy. The two Swiss pilots will take turns at the controls in the tiny cabin for five consecutive days and nights in the air.






“Miracles can be achieved with renewables such as solar power. We want to show we can fly day and night in an aircraft without a drop of fuel,”

Bertrand Piccard, one of the pilots and the project’s co-founder, told reporters on the sidelines of the World Future Energy summit currently underway in Abu Dhabi.

The plane, which has the weight of a family car (2,300kg) and a wingspan equal to that of the largest passenger airliners, will take off in late February and return by late July. Its journey will span approximately 25 flight days at speeds between 50 and 100km per hour.

Feasibility studies, design and construction have taken 12 years, said Andre Borschberg, the second pilot and co-founder.
“It is not the first solar airplane, however it is the first able to cross oceans and continents,” he said.

Piccard said of the challenge: “It is simply the unknown. It is a question of technical reliability, of human weather and it is the challenge of discovery.”
If something goes wrong, they will build another aircraft and continue the journey, he said.
“There’s a will in humankind to make a better world and find solutions to climate change.”

The plane is the successor of Solar Impulse, a pioneering craft which notched up a 26-hour flight in 2010, proving its ability to store enough power in lithium batteries during the day to keep flying at night.

Aviation enthusiasts will be able to watch a live video stream of the plane’s progress once it sets off from Abu Dhabi on its pioneering voyage on the firm’s website;

www.solarimpulse.com.








“Solar Impulse 2 must accomplish what no other plane in the history of aviation has achieved — flying without fuel for five consecutive days and nights with only one pilot in the unpressurised ****pit,” said Andre Borschberg.

'Abu Dhabi is the ideal location for us to start and end our mission. Initiatives like Masdar have enabled the capital of the United Arab Emirates to be recognised as a global centre of innovation and clean technology. Masdar and Abu Dhabi are setting an example for the entire world, promoting the use of diverse, sustainable and clean energy sources by deploying some of the globe’s most sophisticated renewable energy projects. Most importantly, Masdar shares our unwavering commitment to ensuring a cleaner future for our planet,” said Piccard.

During stopovers, the Solar Impulse team will organise meetings, airplane visits and Google Hangouts in order to promote the mission’s message and highlight innovative technical solutions to climate change. In doing so, Solar Impulse hopes to foster an interest in clean energy amongst youth, industry professionals and government representatives seeking to implement ambitious energy policies.

Companies involved in the project include Bayer AG, Solvay, ABB, Schindler, Omega and Abu Dhabi’s Masdar.
Report from Khaleej Times




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Old 31-05-15, 16:05   #2
 
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Earth re: VIDEOs-Solar Plane Takes Off for 1st Flight Across the World

Sun-powered Solar Impulse 2 Begins Most Dangerous Leg in Journey Across World
-as Pilot Takes Off on Six-Day Flight over Pacific


  • Aircraft attempting to become first solar-powered plane to fly around world
  • Today the Solar Impulse 2 embarked on the longest leg of its journey
  • Swiss pilot Andre Borschberg is flying 5,270 miles from China to Hawaii
  • Pilot can only sleep for 20 minutes at a time.
  • Ambitious flight has faced repeated delays due to poor weather conditions
Daily Mail UK, 31 May 2015


A solar-powered aircraft today embarked on an ambitious crossing of the Pacific Ocean.
The Solar Impulse 2 - which weighs little more than a car - is attempting to become the first aircraft to fly around the world on solar power alone.


Pilot Andre Borschberg, 62, took off from Nanjing, in eastern China, early on Sunday morning and will head east towards Hawaii. The 5,270 mile journey is expected to take six days and six nights.

If it is successful, the flight - the most ambitious, and the longest of the aircraft's journey - will be the longest ever in a solar-powered plane.





Ready for take off: The sun-powered Solar Impulse 2 is pictured on the tarmac in Nanjing, eastern China




In the air: Pilot Andre Borschberg, 62, will fly the aircraft, pictured, more than 5,000 miles to Hawaii



Lit by white lights on the underside of its wings, the plane taxied down the runway before climbing into a misty sky - its four whirling propellers nearly silent.

Speaking just hours before take off, Mr Borschberg said: 'I cross my fingers and I hope to cross the Pacific. We have a good weather window, which means we have a stable corridor to reach Hawaii.'

The current flight plan saw no threat from typhoons, a typical weather threat in Asia.

He added: 'I'm really confident we should be able to get through and find the right way.'

To break up flying day and night, Solar Impulse 2 is stopping in 12 locations around the world.
The 25 days of flying time were initially expected to be completed in around five months, but difficult weather has led to set backs in planned departure times.





Ambitious: To break up flying day and night, Solar Impulse 2, pictured today, is stopping in 12 locations




Daybreak: Lit by white lights on its wings, the plane taxied down the runway before climbing into a misty sky


The plane arrived in China from Myanmar on 31 March for what was expected to be a brief stop-over. But it took two months for the weather conditions to be right for take off.


Quote:
SOLAR IMPULSE 2 SPECIFICATIONS

The solar-powered airplane made its maiden flight in Switzerland in June last year.

The single-seater aircraft is made of carbon fibre, and the ****pit has a total area of 40.9 square feet (3.8 square metres).
It has no fuel on board and weighs around the same as a car at 382 stone (2,300kg).
With a wingspan of 236ft (72 metres), it is larger than a Boeing 747-8I jet liner.
The 17,000 solar cells built into the wings supply four electric motors (17.5 CV each) with renewable energy.

During the day, the solar cells recharge lithium batteries weighing 2,077lbs (633kg) allowing the aircraft to fly day and night.
.
Mr Borschberg, who trained as a fighter pilot in the Swiss air force, will face extreme temperatures in the unpressurised and unheated 3.8-cubic-metre ****pit.
Educated as a mechanical engineer and later becoming an entrepreneur, Mr Borschberg said he will use yoga to deal with the stress to his body during the flight.

He will try to stay awake for most of the flight, only allowing himself short catnaps in his seat, which doubles as a bed.

Despite the potential danger - failure could mean a parachute descent into the ocean, far from any rescue ship - the pilot has downplayed the risk of the flight.

He said: 'I don't see it as risky, in the sense that we worked a long time on all these different questions. In the worst case, we have a parachute, we have a life raft and we know how to use it.
'Of course, hoping that we will not need to do that.'

Planners had identified airports in Japan should the plane need to make a stop because of technical problems, but the open ocean offered no such possibility, he said.

He added: 'As soon as we leave this part of the world, then afterwards we are in the open sea. There is no way to come back.'

Solar Impulse 2 is powered by more than 17,000 solar cells built into wings that, at 72 metres, are longer than those of a Boeing 747 and approaching those of an Airbus A380 superjumbo.

The plane is the successor of Solar Impulse, which notched up a 26-hour flight in 2010, proving its ability to store enough power in lithium batteries during the day to keep flying at night.

Ridiculed by the aviation industry when it was first unveiled, the Solar Impulse venture has since been hailed around the world, including by UN chief Ban Ki-moon.





Success: Chairman of Solar Impulse Bertrand Piccard, left, and Prince Albert II of Monaco watch the take off



Quote:
THE SOLAR IMPULSE 2 JOURNEY

To break up flying day and night, Solar Impulse 2 is stopping in 12 locations around the world.

After taking off in Abu Dhabi on 9 March 2015, capital of the United Arab Emirates, it stopped in Muscat in Oman before heading to Ahmedabad in India on 10 March and Varanasi, also in India, on 18 March.
On the same day it flew to Mandalay, Burma, before making a pit stop in Chongqing, China on 29 March - for three weeks, rather than the one planned.

It is now flying to Nanjing, and will then cross the Pacific Ocean via Hawaii, after another pit stop, a flight which will take five days.





A landing site in the south west of the US will be chosen depending on weather conditions, before the Solar Impulse 2 stops off at Phoenix and at JFK airport in New York City.

After crossing the Atlantic Ocean in five days, it will make a stop somewhere in southern Europe, before undertaking the final leg of its journey to land back in Abu Dhabi in July.

The 22,000-mile (35,000km) trip will span 25 flight days, spread over five months.

The two pilots are working together with a crew of 80 technicians, engineers and a communications team.
.



LIVE VIDEOs: Solar Impulse Fuel-Free Flight
Today






Previous Test Flight

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