Solar Impulse Completes Historic Round-the-World Solar Powered Flight

Solar Impulse 2 over the pyramids in Egypt
Solar Impulse 2 flying over the pyramids in Egypt.

2 has just completed their historic journey of being the first aircraft powered solely by solar energy to circle the world after landing in Abu Dhabi.

Bertrand Picard was at the controls when the Solar Impulse 2 made its pre-dawn landing marking the end to an epic 40,000 kilometre (25,000 mile) journey.  

He and his Swiss compatriot Andre Borschberg took turns at the controls, making 16 stops in various countries around the world since their odyssey began in March of 2015.

The Solar Impulse is not the first solar airplane ever designed, but it is certainly the most ambitious. None of its predecessors has ever managed to fly right through the night with a pilot on board.

Solar aviation began with model aircrafts in the 1970s, when affordable solar cells appeared on the market. But it was not until 1980 that the first human flights were realized.

“Solar Impulse was not built to carry passengers, but to carry messages. We want to demonstrate the importance of the pioneering spirit, to encourage people to question what they’ve always taken for granted. The world need to find new ways of improving the quality of life. Clean technologies and renewable forms of energy are part of the solution. “
Bertrand Piccard

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This post was prepared by Solar Thermal Magazine staff.

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