“Solar Impulse will take off from Abu Dhabiin the United Arab Emirates and land in Ahmedabad after making a first stop over at Muscat in Oman. It will make a pit-stop in Ahmedabad,” After making a landing here, the solar-powered aircraft’s founders and pilots Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg are likely to stay in the city for two days before leaving for Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, the release said.
The Swiss solar-powered aircraft’s flight got delayed by a day due to bad weather conditions in the UAE. The aircraft was scheduled to land in Ahmedabad today, but now it will make a stop over here tomorrow, it said. Piccard and Borschberg, during their stay in the city, will reach out to the government, NGOs, universities and schools to spread the message of clean technologies.
The aircraft is also likely to hover above Ganga river in Varanasi to spread the message of cleanliness and clean energy, an official associated with the project said. Solar Impulse is claimed to be the first aircraft to fly day and night without a drop of fuel, propelled solely by the sun’s energy, as per the project’s website. The single-seater aircraft made of carbon fibre has a 72 metre wingspan, larger than that of Boeing-747 and weighs just 2,300 kg, equivalent to the weight of a car, it said.
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The 17,248 solar cells built into the wing supply electric motors with renewable energy. The solar cells recharge four lithium polymer batteries totalling 633 kg each, which allow the aircraft to fly at night and therefore have virtually unlimited autonomy, it said.
The Si2 Round-The-World flight will take-off from the Abu Dhabi (UAE), in early March and return by late July 2015. The route includes stops in Muscat, Oman; Ahmedabad and Varanasi, India; Mandalay, Myanmar; and Chongqing and Nanjing, China. After crossing the Pacific Ocean via Hawaii, Si2 will fly across the U.S.A. stopping in Phoenix, the Midwest, and New York City at JFK. After crossing the Atlantic Ocean, the final legs include a stop-over in Southern Europe or North Africa before completing the Round-The-World flight at its final destination in Abu Dhabi.
About Solar Impulse
The clean tech revolution: The zero-fuel airplane
Swiss pioneers Bertrand Piccard (Chairman) and André Borschberg (CEO) are the founders, pilots and driving force behind Solar Impulse, the first aircraft able to fly day and night without a drop of fuel – propelled solely by the sun’s energy. With the Si2 aircraft, they will attempt the first Round-The-World Solar Flight in 2015. Supported by Main Partners Solvay, Omega, Schindler, ABB, and Official Partners Google, Altran, Bayer MaterialScience, Swiss Re Corporate Solutions, Swisscom and Moët Hennessy, this historic first aims at demonstrating that clean technologies can achieve the impossible.
Under intense and watchful eyes, the Solar Impulse team in Abu Dhabi along with the Mission Control Center (MCC) in Monaco, witnessed Solar Impulse take-off this morning to reach Muscat (Oman), before crossing the Arabian Sea to Ahmedabad (India).
André Borschberg flew Si2 at 7:12 (GMT +4) on Monday, performing the first stage of the Round-The- World Flight using zero fuel. Piccard will take the reins in Oman and continue onward to Ahmedabad (India). Co-pilots Piccard and Borschberg will take turns flying the single-seater experimental solar aircraft which is able to fly with perpetual endurance.
It has taken twelve years for Bertrand Piccard (initiator and chairman) and André Borschberg (founder and CEO), to be able to finally attempt to make their dream a reality – demonstrating the importance of renewable energy conceived through a pioneering spirit and innovation.
Capable of flying over oceans for several days and nights in a row, Solar Impulse will travel 35,000 kilometers around the world in 25 days over the course of roughly 5 months. Si2 will pass over the Arabian Sea, India, Myanmar, China and the Pacific Ocean. After crossing the Atlantic Ocean, the final legs include a stop-over in Southern Europe or North Africa before completing the Round-The-World flight at its final destination in Abu Dhabi, Solar Impulse’s official host city. During the 12 scheduled stops, the Solar Impulse team and its partners will organize public events for governments, schools and universities.
Solar Impulse is an ambitious scientific project, but for those passionate about exploration, this visionary journey is also a strong message for clean technologies. Supported by Prince Albert of Monaco, UAE Minister of State and Chairman of Masdar H.E. Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, Richard Branson and Al Gore, the #FutureIsClean initiative has been launched on www.solarimpulse.com to recruit the severely needed support for the adoption of clean technologies worldwide.
“We are very ambitious in our goal, but modest given the magnitude of the challenge. This is an attempt, and only time will tell if we can overcome the numerous weather, technical, human and administrative issues”, said Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg.
“The historic day has finally arrived. After months of intense preparation and collaboration with Masdar, Solar Impulse 2 is ready to embark on its attempt to circumnavigate the world using only the sun’s energy, demonstrating the power of clean technology. This journey is a moment of national pride for the United Arab Emirates, as Abu Dhabi helped the mission team prepare for success. Together, we inspired thousands of students and professionals across the country, and I’m confident that such community engagement initiatives will be replicated across the globe, capturing the hearts and imaginations of the world and reaching our collective goal of a cleaner future, “said H.E. Dr. Sultan Al Jaber.
At approximately 10:00 am local time (GMT +4), Solar Impulse 2 will enter Omanian aerial space in the region of Al Ain at an altitude of approximately, 3,600 meters (12,000 ft.). Solar Impulse 2 will continue its ascension in the direction of Muscat reaching an altitude of approximately 5,800 meters (19,000 ft.). Once the aircraft reaches northern Muscat, Andre´ Borschberg will position the plane above the sea and loiter on a waiting pattern until traffic and weather conditions are suitable for landing. Solar Impulse 2’s estimated arrival at Muscat International Airport is 7:00 pm local time (GMT +4).
Solar Impulse is an airborne laboratory, genuinely made from technological solutions developed by a multidisciplinary team of 80 specialists and more than a hundred partners and consultants. Si2 is the largest aircraft ever built with such a low weight, equivalent to that of a small car. With a wing covered by more than 17,000 solar cells greater than a Boeing 747, the plane can fly up to an altitude of 8,500 meters at speeds ranging from 50 to 100 km/h.
The two pioneers will be required to demonstrate extraordinary endurance under extreme conditions, living in a 3.8m3 non-pressurized cockpit, unheated, with external temperatures ranging from -40 to +40 degrees Celsius. Crossing the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans in 5 days and 5 nights will certainly represent the highlights of this adventure.
History About solar Impulse
1999: Following his round-the-world balloon flight, Bertrand Piccard sets himself the challenge of flying around the world once more, but this time without the use of any fuel or polluting emissions
2003 : Launch of Solar Impulse after a feasibility study conducted by André Borschberg at the EPFL (Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology)
2007: First prototype construction begins (Building starts of the first prototype)
2009 : Official unveiling (presentation) of the first airplane: Solar Impulse 1
2010: First ever day and night (26 hour non-stop) solar-powered flight above Switzerland
3 world records broken including duration
2011: Flight to Brussels upon (at the) invitation of the European Parliament, and guest of honor at the Paris Bourget International Airshow
2012: First intercontinental flight using solar power, from Switzerland to Morocco under the King of Morocco’s patronage
2 distance world records broken
2013: Flight across America from San Francisco to New-York in 6 steps 3 distance world records broken
2014 : Maiden Flight of the round-the-world airplane: Solar Impulse 2 (Si2)
2015 : Attempt of the First Round-The-World Solar Flight in stages from Abu Dhabi (UAE) heading towards east over a 5 month period
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How to follow SI2:
The site www.solarimpulse.com is designed to follow the progression of the airplane Si2 during its travel around the world. SiTV will stream live the departure and arrival of Solar Impulse 2 on each leg. In addition to that, a virtual cockpit provides the telemetrics of Si2 (altitude, speed, battery level, equipment on board, etc.).
iFrame SiTV departure : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eq7wdyp_Xvw
iFrame SiTV landing : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zs_2e3b81
iFrame virtual cockpit (widgets) : http://www.solarimpulse.com/widgets/embed
Source : Solar Impulse official press release
Jetline Marvel (Aviation Magazine) has official permission for publishing SI2 contents . Solar impulse contents are subjected to copy rights on any material (Video, pictures, documents).