Airplane Sets New World Record — Without Fuel!
Solar Impulse 2, a cutting-edge airplane powered completely by the sun, has successfully completed its first trip around the globe! This is the first time an airborne vehicle has circumnavigated the globe without using a drop of fuel. Although the plane first took off in March 2015, it spent a mere 33 days in flight during its 17-stage journey, spending as many as five consecutive days in the air. Over the remaining 472 days the plane underwent storm repair and received a new cooling system, among other delays for weather and other repairs.
Solar Impulse 2 was flown in turns by two Swiss pilots, Andre Borschberg and Bertrand Piccard, the latter of whom steered the final leg from Cairo to the United Arab Emirates. “The future is clean,” said Co-pilot Piccard. “The future is you. The future is now.”
Piccard is also the visionary behind the Solar Impulse 2, which is powered by 17,248 lightweight solar panels and has about the same mass as a mid-size car.
Check out this video on leg 15 of flight, which took Solar Impulse over the Atlantic Ocean, to learn more about this incredible journey.