Solar Impulse 2 sets distance record

2015-03-11 19:55
"Solar Impulse 2", a solar-powered airplane piloted by Bertrant Piccard of Switzerland in flight from Muscat, Oman on his way to Ahmedabad in India. (Olga Stefatou, AP, Solar Impulse)

"Solar Impulse 2", a solar-powered airplane piloted by Bertrant Piccard of Switzerland in flight from Muscat, Oman on his way to Ahmedabad in India. (Olga Stefatou, AP, Solar Impulse)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Geneva - Solar Impulse 2 has broken a distance record for solar-powered planes as part of its bid to be the first to circumnavigate the globe powered solely by the sun.

By the time it arrived in Ahmedabad, in western India on Tuesday, the plane had flown 1 468km, the flight's organisers said. Solar Impulse project chair and co-pilot Bertrand Piccard was at the controls.

The plane's backers say it was the longest point-to-point distance flown by a solar-powered plane, but the record must be confirmed by air sports governing body Federation Aeronautique International.

Solar Impulse's CEO and co-founder Andre Borschberg set the previous record in Solar Impulse 1 when he flew 1 386 kilometres across the United States.

The aircraft touched down Tuesday in the western state of Gujarat at 23:25 local time (17:55 GMT) to finish its trip from the Omani capital Muscat in little less than 16 hours.

The longest single leg of the planned circumnavigation will see one of the pilots fly solo non-stop for five days and nights across the Pacific from Nanjing, China to Hawaii, a distance of 8 500km - again smashing the record.

Solar Impulse 2 is powered by more than 17 000 solar cells built into wings that, at 72m, are longer than those of a Boeing 747 and approaching those of an Airbus A380 superjumbo.

In total the plane is to travel 35 000km and will cross two oceans. The circumnavigation, which is to take place in 12 steps, requires 25 days worth of flight time spread over five months.

The team hope to promote green energy with their round-the-world attempt, which was ridiculed by the aviation industry when it was first unveiled.

Read more on:    switzerland  |  solar  |  aviation

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.