First Round-The-World Flight Propelled by the Sun Takes Off
Two Swiss pilots — Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg — begun the world’s first round-the-world trip on a solar-powered plane on Monday.
The Solar Impulse 2 took off from Abu Dhabi and is expected to return by late July or early August 2015.
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, Si2 will fly across the Continental USA stopping in three locations – Phoenix, and New York City at JFK. A location in the Midwest will be decided dependent on weather conditions.
After crossing the Atlantic, the final legs include a stop-over in Southern Europe or North Africa before arriving back in Abu Dhabi.
The Solar Impulse 2 has already taken test flights across the US, but this journey will see it fly across the sea for the first time.
“What better way to demonstrate the importance of the pioneering, innovatory spirit than by achieving ‘impossible’ things with renewable energy and highlighting new solutions for environmental problems?” the Solar Impulse website noted.