The airplane departed from Myanmar for the fifth leg of its epic circumnavigation on Monday March 30th at 3:36 am local time (9:06 pm GMT, [March 29]) with Swiss pilot Bertrand Piccard in command. The first ever single-seater solar plane to enter China, Solar Impulse 2 landed in Chongqing 20 hours and 29 minutes later, having covered 1,459 kilometers. Flying above the mountainous Chinese provinces of Yunnan and Sichuan required the pilot to perform a steep climb at the beginning of the journey, and due to continuous flying at high altitude, the pilot had to wear an oxygen mask in the 3.8m3 unpressurized cockpit in which Bertrand Piccard faced temperatures descending to minus 20 degrees celsius. In addition, tackling strong low level winds in Chongqing made this flight one of the most challenging to date
While the Round-The-World is an ambitious scientific project and barrier-breaking adventure, it is also an illustration of the importance of moving the world towards a future centered around clean, renewable energy. A vision which is shared by SolarImpulse Chinese Host Partners, CAST (Chinese Association of Science and Technology) and Sina. Together they will organize visits and conferences for schools and universities to spread the message to the young generation. The key event, involving 1600 students, takes place in Chongqing today at the Bashu Secondary School.
“China has become number one in wind power and in solar panel production, and if you look at how much efforts the Chinese government is making to increase the use of renewable energy to optimize the energy mix, there is no surprise that Solar Impulse is so well received in the country.” Said the pilots Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg, co-founders of Solar Impulse.
LIU Yadong, Deputy Director General of China Association of Science and Technology said:”We are very glad to collaborate with Solar Impulse to popularize edgy scientific knowledge among Chinese Youth”