Around the world in solar plane. Yeah aircraft technology today has risen to be very effective and advanced. From Waveriders, EADS Atrium crafts to Orbital Test vehicle, we have witnessed many high tech aircrafts and their formations. But in the league today is a solar plane Solar Impulse 2, which has recently completed its whole journey from Abu Dhabi to Abu Dhabi around the world on tuesday. This is first of a kind flight by a solar aircraft. It seems rather difficult to fly around the world in a single attempt. Even with the best tech giants flying through the air, one would always give a second thought, whether or not an aircraft would be capable of doing a trip around the world in one attempt. But not only our high tech air crafters are efficient in doing it, a solar plane has been efficient in completing this dream.
Solar impulse 2 has been successful in this high risked task. After completing the first solar powered plane’s round the world flight, the manufacturers were very thrilled. The plane started off from the capital of United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi which was also its destination point. An Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company, named Masdar was a partner in this project.The cargo plane Payerne aerodrome delivered Si2 from Switzerland on 6th of January. It had been already showcased in the World Future Energy Summit.
Due to Abu Dhabi’s commitment for clean energy resources and its emerging technologies in the area of eco friendly projects, it had been selected for the starting and terminating point of this epic journey.
The mission was launched in order to help people understand the importance of green energy and how powerful it could be. Though there were problems like turbulence driven by desert air leaving the only pilot Bertrand Piccard, struggling with controls.
The plane, which carries as many as 17k solar cells on its wings with a wingspan wider than Boeing 747, began circumferencing around the earth journey in March 2015 in Abu Dhabi. It has since crossed all the oceans, deserts, plains and was strong till the end of the journey. At the end of the journey, the pilot was very emotional. He told to a respected newspaper that he had been working since last 15 years on the project.
The project isn’t just one of a kind in history of aviation, but also in the history of renewable resources. In the daylight, the solar panel charged a quarter of the craft’s 2.3 tonne. The pilot took the plane above 29,000 feet in daytime and at 5000 feet in night. The plane flew at about 30mph. The speed depends on the intensity of sun’s light.
Bertrand was assisted by Andre Borschberg to help in flying 16 legs of the journey. They both had to spend almost five days which was unheated and unpressurized to suit the pilot’s. According to Bertrand getting licence for his pilot was his biggest challenge in the beginning at a short notice.
Also the final leg to Abu Dhabi from Cairo was the toughest in the journey. This was because of high altitude and rough winds which caused turbulence. They were not able to rest at all in the last days, it got that rough. However even the climates fall in front of sheer determination.
Though Bertrand completed the journey alone.. with just another pilot, he appreciated and displayed gratitude for the whole team behind the project.
The aeroplane flew more than 40k kilometres without any fuel, just relying on the energy of sun which it was saving, generating and exploiting. It was not only historic for Captain Picard and Solar Impulse team but for the whole humanity. With rising pollution and environment destruction elements gaining prominence, Solar Impulse 2 is a new hope for energy usage.