Record-breaking solar flight reaches Hawaii after 5 nights and days airborne without fuel. Unlimited endurance is now proven thanks to clean technology
Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg are reunited in Hawaii and celebrate together the world record for longest solo flight ever flown by the latter.
Solar Impulse 2 with André Borschberg on the controls is about to land on Kalaeloa Airport after being five consecutive days airborne.
HAWAII, July 3rd, 2015.The longest and most difficult leg of the Round the World Solar Flight attempted since last March by Swiss explorers Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg ended successfully in Hawaii. At the controls of Solar Impulse 2, pilot André Borschberg landed safely in Hawaii after flying 117 hours and 52 minutes over the Pacific Ocean from Japan powered only by the sun.
A historic landing took place in Hawaii after a perilous nonstop flight for 5 days and 5 nights. With the sun rising this morning at 5:55 am local time Hawaii (15:55 GMT), Solar Impulse 2 touched down at the Kalaeloa Airport after traveling a distance of roughly 4,480 miles (7,200 km). Pilot André Borschberg, also co-founder of Solar Impulse with Bertrand Piccard, broke the world records of distance and duration for solar aviation, as well as the world record for the longest solo flight ever, (117 hours and 52 minutes - around 7,200 km. These world records will be ratified upon landing by the International Aeronautical Federation.
André endured many challenges requiring him to carefully maintain a balance between wearing an oxygen mask for long stretches of time during high altitude, getting enough rest and maximizing the energy levels of the plane, particularly during turbulent weather conditions. Successfully accomplishing this 8th leg by remaining airborne for 5 consecutive days and nights has now proven that the airplane’s critical components perform exceptionally and that Solar Impulse’s vision of reaching unlimited endurance without fuel, using solely the power of the sun, was not only a dream: perpetual flight is a reality.
“I feel exhilarated by this extraordinary journey. I have climbed the equivalent altitude of Mount Everest five times without much rest. The team at the Mission Control Center in Monaco (MCC) was my eyes and my ears… The MCC was battling to give me the possibility to rest and recover, but also maximizing the aircraft’s energy levels and sending me trajectories and flight strategies simulated by computer", said André Borschberg, "This success fully validates the vision that my partner Bertrand Piccard had after his round-the-world balloon flight to reach unlimited endurance in an airplane without fuel", he adds.
"What André has achieved is extraordinary from the perspective of a pilot. But furthermore, he has also led the technical team during the construction of this revolutionary prototype. It is not only a historic first in aviation it is also a historic first for renewable energies.", said Bertrand Piccard, initiator of Solar Impulse, chairman and pilot.
Solar Impulse’s bold mission of building a solar plane was created to demonstrate how pioneering spirit, innovation and clean technologies can change the world and to encourage people to save energy and promote the use of clean technologies globally. Departing from Abu Dhabi in March, the explorers are not on this endeavor for the sake of it, as mankind is facing a much bigger problem with pollution, depletion of natural resources and climate change. For Bertrand Piccard, the unprecedented accomplishment is to demonstrate that if technological solutions exist to fly a plane day and night without fuel - which has been successfully proven - then there is potential for these same efficient technologies to be used in our daily lives, and to achieve energy savings to reduce CO2 emissions.
To catapult this idea to the next level, Solar Impulse initiated the Future Is Clean campaign, calling on supporters to add their voice to the message on www.futureisclean.org: a website serving as a petition to convince governments around the globe to implement the necessary clean technology solutions and help ensure that the United Nations’ upcoming Conference on Climate Change (COP21) is successful in renewing the Kyoto protocol this December in Paris.
During a typical 24-hour flight cycle, the pilot rests eight times averaging between 5 and 20 minutes per day. This is possible only at lower altitudes when the oxygen mask is required to be worn. The pilot’s daily intake is 2.4 kg (5.2 lbs) of food, 2.5 l (84.5 oz) of water, and 1 l (33.8 oz) of sports drink per day. His meals include a breakfast, a lunch prepared to be as similar as possible to home-made meals, and snacks including dried fruits and chocolate. The nutritional composition of the food will fluctuate with respect to altitudes and temperatures because the pilots require more energy when flying at higher altitudes – in spite of decreased appetites due to increased elevation. Borschberg performed yoga 30 to 45 minutes a day to stay fit and prevent any potential negative effects of immobility.
Bertrand Piccard will fly to Phoenix for the next leg of the Round-The-World attempt before the mission continues onward to New York, Europe and Abu Dhabi where it all started.
Information on Flight 8: Nagoya (Japan) to Hawaii (USA)
Pilot: André Borschberg, Solar Impulse Co-Founder and CEO When: Take-off at 3:03 am local time Japan on June 29nd, 2015 (6:03 pm GMT on June 28th, 2015)
Landed at 05:55 am local time Hawaii on July 3rd, 2015 (3:55 pm GMT on July 3rd, 2015) Flight time: 117:52 hours Maximum altitude: 8,634 m (28,000 ft) Average speed: 61.19 km/h Flight plan distance: 7'212 km
Follow the experience from the cockpit and see what the pilot is watching in real time thanks to the 5 on-board cameras. The platform also offers access to all the telemetry data (altitude, speed, battery level, etc.), by clicking on the “cockpit” icon and for those who missed the event all the legs can be relived through the “logbook” page.
The platform www.FutureIsClean.org, was designed with the support of our web partner, Google, and aims to mobilize individuals, organizations, celebrities and politicians to confront the Conference on Climate Change of the United Nations (COP21), which will define the new Kyoto protocol in December 2015 in Paris. The goal is to establish the largest petition ever created to convince governments to implement technology solutions that are necessary. Every site visitor is asked to add their voice to the message "I want concrete solutions for a clean future" and share amongst their networks with #FutureIsClean
Join the movement: www.FutureIsClean.org
Information on Flight 7: Nagoya (Japan) to Hawaii (USA)
Pilot: André Borschberg, Solar Impulse Co-Founder and CEO When: Take-off at 3:03 am local time Japan on June 29th, 2015 (18:03 GMT on June 28th, 2015)
Landed at at 0555 local time Hawaï (1555 UTC) on July 3rd Flight time: Maximum altitude: Average speed: Flight distance:
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.
After the original Solar Impulse Si1 prototype which holds 8 world records, Si2 engineers have designed and constructed a new single-seater aircraft made of carbon fiber. It has a 72 meter wingspan (larger than that of the Boeing 747) for a weight of just 2,300 kg, equivalent to that of a car. The 17,248 solar cells built into the wing supply electric motors (17.5 CV each) with renewable energy. The solar cells recharge four lithium polymer batteries totaling 633 kg each, which allow the aircraft to fly at night and therefore have virtually unlimited autonomy.