The Solar Impulse 2 trip around the world

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sn26567
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The Solar Impulse 2 trip around the world

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The Solar Impulse is the only airplane of perpetual endurance, able to fly day and night on solar power, without a drop of fuel.

After initial tests with Solar Impulse 1 (HB-SIA) protoype, which made among others a famous trip to Brussels Airport (home of the European Union and of one of the four main sponsors, Solvay) on 13 May 2011 and a flight across America in 2013, a larger and more efficient model was built (HB-SIB). The Solar Impulse 2 has made a large number of qualification tests in Switzerland and is now ready for its largest challenge.

The challenge of the team is to attempt the First Round-The-World Solar Flight in 2015. A way for Bertrand Piccard, André Borschberg and their team to demonstrate how pioneering spirit, innovation and clean technologies can change the world.

Luchtzak.be will of course follow that challenge which should start from Abu Dhabi at the beginning of March and extend over five months until the end of July 2015.

An overview of the First Round-The-World Solar Flight, in numbers:
  • 2 pilots, Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg, flying one after the other in the single-seater cockpit
  • 1 airplane: Solar Impulse 2 (HB-SIB)
  • Zero fuel on board
  • A 35,000km (22,000 miles) journey
  • 500 flying hours approx.
  • 10 legs approx., some lasting more than 5 days and nights
  • A 5-month mission (March-August 2015)
  • A 60 people support team
First information: Tomorrow night "Si2" will be loaded on the Cargolux B747 which will transport it to Abu Dhabi!
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To be followed
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Re: The Solar Impulse 2 trip around the world

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The flight strategy needs to deal with extreme conditions, of weather and demands on the human being - 5 days and 5 nights over the Pacific with uncertain weather on arrival and just a single pilot at the controls. Much more survival equipment has been fitted, and comfort is now a priority, to ensure pilot vigilance during long flight-sectors.
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Re: The Solar Impulse 2 trip around the world

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The 72m wingspan of "Si2" has been dismantled in 3 parts for the loading on the Cargolux 747!

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The Cargolux 747 which will transport "Si2" to Abu Dhabi is expected to arrive in Payerne at 5pm CET today.

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Re: The Solar Impulse 2 trip around the world

Post by jan_olieslagers »

This annoying cross-thinker can't help wondering why, if the plane can fly around the world on its own, it can't fly from Switzerland to the Gulf. Surely flying on its own wings would have saved a lot of expense AND labour AND risks in dis- and re-assembly?

One can only imagine some sponsor had to be humoured, but it is negative publicity for the project.

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Re: The Solar Impulse 2 trip around the world

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Loading has begun and will go on throughout the night, with a departure scheduled tomorrow morning. Here is the impressive interior of the Cargolux 747:

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And, incidentally, the 747 has a smaller wingspan than the solar plane.
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Re: The Solar Impulse 2 trip around the world

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jan_olieslagers wrote:This annoying cross-thinker can't help wondering why, if the plane can fly around the world on its own, it can't fly from Switzerland to the Gulf.
I don't know the answer, so I asked the Solar Impulse team (a friend of mine is involved on behalf of Solvay): It is not easy. The weather conditions are not good in Switzerland to allow us a flight to Abu Dhabi. We need a good weather window to fly, which is hard to find in the European winter!
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Re: The Solar Impulse 2 trip around the world

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Loading completed !

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The Solar Impulse 2 is on its way from Payerne (after some de-icing) to Abu Dhabi via Basel, flight CV610 if you want to follow it on http://www.flightradar24.com.

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Si2 has arrived safely at Abu Dhabi airport on board of the Cargolux 747-400, where it has been unloaded. It is now in its new home in Abu Dhabi:

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The reassembly of Si2 has started in an Abu Dhabi hangar! The solar aeroplane will be ready for the Abu Dhabi sustainability week!

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Tomorrow 20 January in Abu Dhabi, the two pilots André Borschberg and Bertrand Piccard will finally unveil the route of their flight round the world at 9.30 (UTC+4).
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The route: Si2 will take-off from Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirate, in late February or early March and 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 U.S.A. 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.

Solar Impulse unveiled the flight path in Abu Dhabi alongside partner representatives. This included main partners Solvay, Omega, Schindler and ABB. They were also joined by official partners Altran, Bayer, Google, Swiss Re Corporate Solutions, Swisscom and Moët Hennessy alongside Solar Impulse’s host partner Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company.

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Re: The Solar Impulse 2 trip around the world

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The "petit prince" will be on board on the long journey...proudly made in Thailand by Arnaud...
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Re: The Solar Impulse 2 trip around the world

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Monaco at the heart of the RTW solar flight

The official opening of the Monaco Control Center (MCC) for the First Round-The-World Solar Flight attempt by Solar Impulse took place today. Drawing on the personal commitment of H.S.H. the Sovereign Prince and Monaco's exemplary commitment to sustainable development and the promotion of renewable energies, the Government of Monaco have chosen to support, alongside the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, the Solar Impulse initiative by housing the mission control centre (MCC) on Monegasque territory in the Rainier III Auditorium and Congress Centre throughout the duration of the world tour.

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Today is D-18 for the earliest possible departure date.
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FLASH NEWS: due to sand storms in Abu Dhabi, the first RTW Solar Flight earliest departure date is now March 3!
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Tomorrow early morning in Abu Dhabi, Si2 will make some taxi tests! LIVE coverage on the Solar Impulse website from tonight 11PM (UTC) on!
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Today André Borschberg took off from Abu Dhabi for a first 10-hr test flight under the hot Arab sun, before the RTW take-off in 6 days from now.

The flight is followed for the first time by the new "mission control" centre of Monaco, but the operational control centre for this test flight is in Abu Dhabi.
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The First RTW Solar Flight earliest possible take-off date was postponed to March 7th!

D-7!
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With this morning's successful flight (with Markus Scherdel in the cockpit), Si2 completed its set of test points. Altran's Stabilization Augmentation System, which will allow the pilots to rest during the RTW, was just tested.

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D-6 RTW! Earliest possible RTW take-off date to Oman is March 7. The flights will be visible on flightradar24 under flight code SOLAR2.

The initiator of the project Bertrand Piccard, who will be one of the two pilots for the RTW trip, is celebrating his birthday today.

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After a short daytime flight this morning, pilot Bertrand Piccard will train on night traffic patterns tonight. This is the last time that he will be in Si2's cockpit before the RTW begins.

Did you know he has an integrated ECG in his flying suit to monitor heart rate?
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