Published On: Mon, May 2nd, 2016

Solar-powered plane to soar again on round-the-world flight

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Solar-kooza

SAN FANCISCO: Solar Impulse 2, an experimental aircraft flying around the world to draw attention to clean energy technologies, is to take flight again on Monday (today), organisers said.

Pilot Andre Borschberg will take off at 12 p.m. GMT, taking advantage of a “clear weather window” for him to fly from the Mojave Desert to Phoenix Goodyear Airport in Arizona – an effort that should take about 16 hours, they said.

The plane has been in California for a week since crossing the Pacific to land in Mountain View. Swiss adventurer Bertrand Piccard piloted the craft from Hawaii to California.

Piccard, who has been alternating the long solo flights with teammate Borschberg, has handed over the responsibility to his teammate who will pilot Solar Impulse across the United States and to New York.

The mission aims to promote the use of renewable energy, with an aircraft powered by 17,000 solar cells.

The plane’s wingspan is wider than that of a jumbo jet but its weight is roughly the same as a family car.

Solar Impulse 2 was grounded in July 2015 when its batteries suffered problems halfway through its 21,700-mile (35,000-kilometre) circumnavigation.

The crew took several months to repair the damage from high tropical temperatures during the first Pacific stage, a 4,000-mile flight between Japan and Hawaii.

The aircraft was flown on that leg by Borschberg, whose 118-hour journey smashed the previous record of 76 hours and 45 minutes set by US adventurer Steve Fossett in 2006.

The solar-powered plane, which stores energy in batteries for when the sun is not shining, will stop in New York before a transatlantic flight to Europe. From there the pilots plan to make their way back to the point of departure in Abu Dhabi. – AFP

 

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About the Author

Syed Ammar Alavi

- is Lahore (Pakistan) based journalist & writer with 25-year experience in print, wire and broadcast forms of journalism. His major fields of interest are politics, film,tv,sports, climate change and technology

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