Solar Impulse: The journey

Environmental Technology

Hopefully by now you’ll be aware of a unique and exciting project that has been taking place over the past year or so. Solar Impulse, the only aircraft ever made that can run purely on solar energy day and night is in the final stages of its much-heralded round-the-world trip. Over the next few days, we will take a closer look at the Solar Impulse project, as its journey comes to a close, and explore some of themes surrounding this project and what it means for sustainable aviation. Firstly, let’s have a quick overview the journey itself.

The journey of Solar Impulse has taken place over twelve legs, starting in Abu Dhabi. During these twelve legs the SI2 team will stop in Muscat, Ahmedabad, Varanasi, Mandalay, Chongqing, Nanjing, Hawaii, Phoenix, Mid. USA, New York, Seville, Cairo then back to Abu Dhabi. This is no mean feat, even in a traditional aircraft.

Following the team’s encounter with harsh weather conditions and technical problems last year, and the subsequent need to pause the journey until this spring, the SI2 flight has resumed. Having now completed the most perilous stage of the journey, crossing the Atlantic, Solar Impulse has now just completed its penultimate leg from Seville to Cairo, before Bertrand Piccard takes over from André Borschberg for the final leg on to where they started in Abu Dhabi.

Stay tuned for some more blogs coming up, where we will look at the spirit of adventure surrounding SI2 and an assessment of the potential of large-scale solar powered flight in the future.