Around the world by sun

Solar Impulse 2 flew 40,000 kilometers around the world powered by the sun alone. It was an endurance test for everyone.

Like a Jules Verne story

That was how Bertrand Piccard’s idea sounded: to fly around the world in a solar-powered plane without a drop of fuel. He spent 12 years together with a 60-man team of partners to prepare for the 17-stage flight. To circle the globe he alternated with André Borschberg as the pilot of Solar Impulse 2, landing 505 days later in Abu Dhabi where he had set out on the record flight. Four twin-bladed tractor propellers were driven by solar power, which was collected during the day by 11,628 photovoltaic cells affixed mainly to the 63.4-meter-long wings. The current was converted by an ABB microgrid, which also controlled its highly efficient distribution and storage in rechargeable batteries, from which the high-wing plane was powered at night. This high-flying dream provides very real evidence of what renewable energies can achieve when used intelligently – by courageous people, it should be added.

The dream of flying with clean energy becomes a reality

Abu Dhabi is in the midst of a successful transformation in which renewable energies are replacing fossil fuels such as oil. It was an appropriately symbolic start and finish for Solar Impulse 2. (© SolarImpulse.com)
Abu Dhabi is in the midst of a successful transformation in which renewable energies are replacing fossil fuels such as oil. It was an appropriately symbolic start and finish for Solar Impulse 2. (© SolarImpulse.com)
Mandalay in Myanmar was the fifth stop on this trip around the world. The aircraft was serviced in its inflatable hangar in preparation for Nanjing, the next stop.
Mandalay in Myanmar was the fifth stop on this trip around the world. The aircraft was serviced in its inflatable hangar in preparation for Nanjing, the next stop.
Nanjing was once the imperial capital of China. At the edge of this urban mass of 5.5 million people, a team of experts prepares the next stage to Nagoya in Japan.
Nanjing was once the imperial capital of China. At the edge of this urban mass of 5.5 million people, a team of experts prepares the next stage to Nagoya in Japan.
Hawaii lies at the end of the eigth stage: 8,942 kilometers across nothing but ocean over four days, 21 hours and 52  minutes - a world record for solo pilot André Borschberg.
Hawaii lies at the end of the eigth stage: 8,942 kilometers across nothing but ocean over four days, 21 hours and 52 minutes - a world record for solo pilot André Borschberg.
San Francisco was the destination of the ninth stage, which had started at Hawaii. The Golden Gate Bridge is in the foreground, and behind the center of the city.
San Francisco was the destination of the ninth stage, which had started at Hawaii. The Golden Gate Bridge is in the foreground, and behind the center of the city.

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