Solar Impulse 2 successfully lands in California

Solar Impulse 2 has successfully landed in California after flying over the Pacific for two and a half days

25th April 2016

Solar Impulse 2 successfully lands in California

Solar Impulse 2 has successfully landed in California after flying over the Pacific for two and a half days. Flying without a single drop of oil, Solar Impulse 2 descended upon Mountain View shortly before 03:00 ET (08:00 GMT).

The plane was flown by Bertrand Piccard, a Swiss explorer and psychiatrist. “It’s a new era. It’s not science fiction. It’s today,” he told CNN after the successful flight. “It exists and clean technologies can do the impossible.”

The success of the flight marks a significant milestone for the team, which experienced various setbacks and problems during the initial stages of the pioneer airborne circumnavigation.

Solar Impulse 2 is a solar plane with a Boeing 747 wingspan. It weighs just about the weight of an SUV. Images of the plane’s flight over the Golden Gate Bridge into the Bay of San Francisco sent waves of excitement among the project staff.

“I’m very happy that everything works extremely well and the airplane is functioning as it should,” noted Andre Borschberg, Piccard’s co-pilot and business partner.

“It’s a demonstration that the tech is reliable,’’ he added. He said this shortly before the successful, on-schedule landing.

The flight began in Hawaii, lifting off to cheers and applause the following day. On arrival above California, the plane flew in patterns above the Bay of San Francisco in celebration of the feat.

However, Solar Impulse spokeswoman Alexandra Gindroz acknowledged that the success of the flight was largely attributed to a “very stable weather window.”

Indeed, the plane requires perfect or near-perfect weather conditions to take to the skies. Thus, its flight schedule is largely dependent on weather, especially the sun. Once it takes to the skies, a team of flight engineers and experts have to be on standby to monitor its every move in real time.    

The success of this flight is just a glimpse into the future of how technology can harness renewable energy.

Published by Green Jobs Online - 25th April 2016

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