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Solar plane lands in California after historic Pacific Ocean flight

North America, Worldwide, Sustainable Energy, Tech. & Innovation, Transport
The Solar Impulse 2 solar-powered aeroplane completed a historic flight over the Pacific Ocean to California on Saturday as part of its round-the-world attempt.

The aeroplane landed in Silicon Valley, San Francisco after flying for nearly three days from Hawaii with pilot Bertrand Piccard announcing: “The Pacific is done.”

According to the Solar Impulse team, the latest leg of the circumnavigation attempt was the riskiest yet because of a lack of emergency landing sites.

After landing, Mr Piccard addressed the media saying:  “You know there was a moment in the night, I was watching the reflection of the moon on the ocean and I was thinking, ‘I’m completely alone in this tiny cockpit and I feel completely confident’.”

Piccard added: “And I was really thankful to life for bringing me this experience; it’s maybe one of the most fantastic experiences of life I’ve had.”

The plane is 100 per cent powered by the sun and has 17,000 photovoltaic cells covering its wings.

Solar Impulse 2 started its round-the-world attempt in March 2015 in Abu Dhabi, crossing Oman, India, Myanmar and China before flying to Japan, before a 8,924km flight to Hawaii.

The five-day crossing from set a record for the longest ever non-stop solo aeroplane journey but the aircraft was grounded for repairs in Hawaii for eight months after the batteries overheated.

The plane is now expected to fly to New York City, before embarking on a return to Abu Dhabi to complete the historic flight.

The Switzerland-based Solar Impulse project is privately-funded and is led by Swiss engineer André Borschberg.

Official partners of the project include Google Solvay, Omega and Schindler.

 

Source: http://www.climateactionprogramme.org