After nearly one month of waiting on the ground in Japan, Solar Impulse 2 finally took off for Hawaii. The solar-powered airplane is attempting to fly around the world without using a drop of fuel.
Swiss pilot André Borschberg finally left Nagoya this morning at 3:00 a.m. local time Japan for Hawaii. The solar-powered airplane was stuck in Nagoya since 2 June because of the rainy season.
The leg from Japan to Hawaii will be the longest and most difficult leg of the record-breaking journey to fly around the world without using a drop of fuel. At 7,200 kilometres long, the flight will last at least five days and five nights non-stop and there is no immediate landing possibilities along the entire leg.
Borschberg will only be able to sleep for 20 minutes at a time and plans to use yoga and meditation to keep his body and mind functioning well. “We are now at the point in the Round-the-World Solar Flight where everything comes together,” said Borschberg before taking off for Hawaii. Co-founder and co-pilot Betrand Piccard will pilot the airplane from Hawaii to Phoenix to complete the Pacific crossing.
Solar Impulse 2 began its round-the-world trip in March in Abu Dhabi. From there it flew to Oman, India, Myanmar and China to Japan. After crossing the Pacific Ocean, the airplane is set to cross the US. Solar Impulse 2 is powered by over 17,000 solar cells.
Photo credit: Solar Impulse