Clean Aviation Technology Tested by Solar Powered Airplane
ABU DHABI – AVIATION – A solar powered airplane with a wingspan larger than a Boeing 747 but weighing no more than a car will take off on March 3 from Abu Dhabi on a journey around the world and into the hearts of millions of people. The pilots hope to see greater use of the very same clean technologies that will be used on this history-making voyage.
Swiss adventurers Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg will take turns piloting the single-seat, 2,300-kilogram Solar Impulse 2 airplane on its pioneering flight around the globe on a voyage that will last about five months and include some 500 hours of flying. Made from of a lightweight carbon fiber frame, their Solar Impulse 2 aircraft will carry zero fuel and produce zero carbon emissions on its journey.
The airplane will be powered entirely from the 17,000 solar cells embedded in its wings spanning 72 meters. It will be the first solar-powered airplane that can fly through the night – thanks to the energy stored during the daylight hours in its state-of-the-art lithium batteries.
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, it will fly across the United States stopping in three locations – Phoenix, and New York City at JFK. A location in the Midwest will be decided.
After crossing the Atlantic, the final legs include a stop-over in Southern Europe or North Africa before arriving back in Abu Dhabi.