Although it is many years away from testing and developing a solar aircraft, Solar Impulse2's circumnavigation of the Earth has already broken the bou
The journey around the Earth lasted 42,000 km in 505 days with an average speed of 70 km / h of the solar plane that made history.

The solar-powered plane has accomplished what many considered impossible: fly over four continents and two oceans without needing a single drop of fuel. The rays of the sun are the only thing that powers this plane.

The Solar Impulse plane is the brainchild of explorer Bertrand Piccard. The idea arose after he made a trip around the Earth continuously in a hot air balloon.

During that trip, he observed that the fuel was decreasing day by day. That made him worry that the materials weren't enough to complete the flight. He wondered if there was a better way and he finally found the answer.

Bertrand Piccard collaborated with Andre Borschberg, an engineer and businessman who trained as a pilot in the Swiss Air Force. Both officially announced the project in 2003.

Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg determined: “Once the official announcement, we have no way back. So that's what we do for the next 13 years.” They contact investors, engineers and industry partners to develop the aircraft. Every component is tested and optimized.

The result of this effort is Solar Impulse 2, a feat of engineering. The plane is equipped with more than 17,000 solar panels, weighs only 2.4 tons with a wingspan of 72m.

Each panel is as thin as a human hair, covering the delicate wings and fuselage. The panels are exposed to the sun, fully charged with 4 lithium batteries to keep the propellers active at night.

Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg took turns making the flight. The wings of the aircraft cannot be tilted more than 5 degrees, otherwise the aircraft will lose control because of its large size and too light weight. That also means bad weather or strong winds can easily knock the plane off course.

According to published information, the weather became "the number one enemy" of the whole team, because the plane moved quite "twisted".

During the day, the plane flies to a height of more than 9,000m and must descend to about 1,500m at night to save energy. The team had to forecast wind, humidity and temperature at multiple altitudes. Weather conditions have caused many flights to be delayed.

Overcoming technological challenges, extreme weather conditions and a "fragile" aircraft that slows down, the Solar Impulse development team has always maintained a strong belief.

“I never lost faith in what we were doing,” Borschberg said. Something tells me there's a solution to everything. We need more time, more effort, but we will definitely find a way."

Finally, the Solar Impulse 2 aircraft piloted by two pilots Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg successfully landed in Abu Dhabi at dawn on July 26, 2016.

The use of solar batteries for aircraft is still limited and takes decades to test and develop to commercial scale. However, by surpassing the limit that no one has yet reached, the Solar Impulse aircraft development team has made important contributions to the aviation industry.

Below are pictures that record the journey around the world marking history and opening a new page for the future of developing renewable energy sources in the aviation field.


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