Solar plane set to fly from China to Hawaii

Solar Plane Set To Fly From China To Hawaii
Solar Plane Set To Fly From China To Hawaii

The experimental plane Solar Impulse 2 is poised to embark on the most challenging leg of its journey—the seventh of twelve in its goal to fly around the world on solar power alone.

The plane must complete the approximately 5,000 mile flight from Nanjing, China to Hawaii. That trek alone is close to the nearly 4,500 miles flown on all the previous segments combined.

The team has estimated that it will take around six full days of non-stop flight which is a test for the plane and the pilot.

The 62-year old Swiss engineer and pilot Andre Borschberg will remain strapped in the entire time which means he can only take 20-minute naps for a break. He must also use an oxygen mask about half the time since the cabin is not pressurized.

He must also be sure to capture maximum sunlight and conserve as much energy as possible which entails flying at a higher altitude during the day and drifting lower at night until the battery engages.

If completed, the single journey will break the record for longest-ever trip for a one-seat plane.

Borschberg and his partner Bertrand Piccard spent 12 years preparing for this project to promote alternative sources of energy along with a sense of adventure and innovation.

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