First solar plane flies round the world without fuel

solar planeSolar Impulse 2 landed in Hawaii on Friday after a five-day non-stop journey from Japan, breaking all records for solar-powered flights.

Pilot and project Co-founder Andre Borschberg flew a holding pattern for more than half an hour to time his landing in Honolulu for what organisers called “the ideal time” – after sun-up.

Borschberg said the plane departed on Monday from Japan, on the seventh and most challenging leg of its attempt to circumnavigate the globe using only the energy of the sun.

“This flight to Hawaii is not only aviation historic first, but also a historic first for energy and cleantechs.

He said the near 118-hour flight shattered the previous 76-hour record for the longest solo flight as it crossed the Pacific Ocean.

Borschberg said it also broke the records for the longest distance and duration flown by a solar-powered aircraft.

The Solar Impulse 2 began its attempt to become the first solar-powered plane to fly around the globe in Abu Dhabi on March 9.

Borschberg said from Hawaii the plane would continue to the continental US and then across the country.

“The next leg then takes it across the Atlantic Ocean.

“The project has been planned for more than 12 years and aims to raise awareness of climate change and green energy solutions,” he said.

Powered by four propellers with more than 17,000 solar cells installed on its wings, the plane is expected to make a total of 13 stops during its flight around the world, spending about 25 days in the air during the course of five months.

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