A Swiss solar powered plane called the Solar Impulse 2 is making the first attempt to fly around the world using only solar energy. The plane launched from Abu Dhabi and will fly across India, China and NYC in a landmark journey aimed at promoting green energy.
The Solar Impulse 2 will take around five months to complete the 21,748-mile journey. Bertrand Piccard (chairman of Solar Impulse) and André Borschberg (co-founder and chief executive of Solar Impulse), will share piloting duties during the 500-hour flight. The aircraft is the first of its kind to fly day and night without a drop of fuel, propelled only by solar energy, as per the project's website. The round-the-world trip is expected to end in late July or even August.
Made of carbon fiber the single-seater aircraft has a 72 meter wingspan and weighs just 2,300 kg. The plane will make a stop in Ahmadabad tomorrow as a part of its maiden global journey.
Piccard and Borschberg hold eight world records for flight, including a record for the first solar-powered flight across the US in the original Solar Impulse. The team state that they want citizens to "confront the Conference on Climate Change of the United Nations, which will define the new Kyoto protocol in December 2015 in Paris." The conference will see countries present targets for the new global climate agreement that governments plan to adopt.
"We want to share our vision of a clean future," said Piccard, chairman of Solar Impulse, said of the mission. "Climate change is a fantastic opportunity to bring in the market new green technologies that save energy, save natural resources of our planet, make profit, create jobs, and sustain growth."
Source: Solar Impulse