Three records blasted out of the sky by Solar Impulse 2

Interesting Engineering
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Solar Impulse 2 is making its way around the world and the craft has already broken three records and it hasn’t even completed the longest leg of the flight. The next time it touches down on the ground is when it reaches Hawaii but it has already taken the record for travelling the longest distance along with the longest duration and as the icing on the cake it has taken the longest solo flight record too.


[Image Source: Solar Impulse]

The Solar Impulse 2 took off from Japan on Saturday on its flight that will take five days and take the craft over the Pacific Ocean and onto the island of Hawaii. The co-founder of the Solar Impulse Andre Borschberg is flying the Solar Impulse 2 and it has been in the air for three days and nights and hasn’t used a drop of fuel in this time. It took the record for duration and distance at 80 hours and 5,663 km.


[Image Source: Solar Impulse]

What is even more impressive is the fact that it has surpassed the longest solo flight without stopping to refuel. The record had previously been set by Steve Fossett when he manged to fly around the world in 76 hours in the Virgin Atlantic GlobalFlyer in 2006.


[Image Source: Solar Impulse]

The Solar Impulse 2 is at the moment going over the Pacific Ocean and the pilot has to comes to terms with and overcome many technical challenges. He also hasn’t got the luxury of having emergency landing sites. In order to keep his body functioning, he is undertaking daily yoga routines in the small cockpit of the craft. He has slept for very few hours with the craft on autopilot; of course turbulence is one of the main issues with trying to sleep in a craft.


[Image Source: Solar Impulse]

The Solar Impulse 2 is set to land in Honolulu and when it does it will have flown for around 120 hours. Bertrand Piccard, fellow co-founder is then set to take over the flight and he will take the craft to Phoenix, Arizona then cross over the USA along with the Atlantic Ocean and then make its way back to Abu Dhabi. This is where the flight began on 9 March.


[Image Source: Solar Impulse]


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