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After the historic journey, Solar plane lands in Dayton, Ohio

The plane can climb to 28,000 feet (8,500 meters), but generally flies at lower altitudes at night to conserve energy.

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The Solar Impulse 2 airplane, flown by test pilot Markus Scherdel, flies off the coast of Oahu during a test flight from Kalaeloa Airfield in Kapolei, Hawaii, March 3, 2016. REUTERS/Hugh Gentry
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By Chris Michaud

(Reuters) – An experimental airplane powered solely by energy from the sun landed in Ohio on Saturday night on the latest leg of its historic bid by pilots and developers to fly around the globe without a drop of fuel.

The single-seat Solar Impulse 2 aircraft arrived in Dayton shortly before 10 p.m. local time, some 17 hours after leaving Phoenix Goodyear Airport, the project team said on its official Twitter page.

 Close-up of a 1928 reconstruction of the first Wright Brothers' aircraft. Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Close-up of a 1928 reconstruction of the first Wright Brothers’ aircraft. Image source: Wikimedia Commons

“People told the Wright Brothers & us what we wanted to achieve was impossible,” said Bertrand Piccard after landing. “They were wrong!”

The locale was of special significance to the pilots, as the  home base to aviation pioneers Orville and Wilbur Wright.

Amanda Wright Lane, a descendant of the brothers, neither of whom ever married, was on hand to welcome the flight.

With a wingspan exceeding that of a Boeing 747 but an ultra-light carbon-fiber skin and overall weight of a car, the Solar Impulse cruises at speeds ranging from only 34 to 62 miles per hour (55 to 100 kph).

The four engines of the propeller-driven aircraft are powered exclusively by energy collected from more than 17,000 solar cells built into its wings. Excess energy is stored in four batteries during daylight hours to keep the plane flying after dark.

The plane can climb to 28,000 feet (8,500 meters), but generally flies at lower altitudes at night to conserve energy.

Piccard and Andre Borschberg have been taking turns piloting the plane on each leg of the journey. Both have trained to stay alert for long stretches of time by practicing meditation and hypnosis.

Borschberg set a new endurance record for the longest non-stop solo flight last July during a 118-hour trans-Pacific crossing, over five days and five nights, from Japan to Hawaii. He also set new duration and distance records for solar-powered flight. Battery damage sustained during the crossing kept the aircraft grounded for nine months.

The Swiss team’s ultimate goal is to achieve the first round-the-world solar-powered flight, part of its campaign to bolster support for clean-energy technologies.

The team hopes eventually to complete its circumnavigation in Abu Dhabi, the starting point for the journey in March 2015.

The two men completed an earlier multi-flight crossing of the United States in a prototype of the solar plane in 2013 as a precursor to their globe-circling quest.
(Reporting by Chris Michaud and Steve Gorman)

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  • Pritam Go Green

    That’s great !!! Now even solar planes are being manufactured. We all collectively need to work in a positive direction so that the world becomes less dependent on non renewable sources of energy.

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The Very Best Things to do on Vacation in Hawaii

There are many different activities taking place every day in Hawaii, but the above 5 activities are some of the very best

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Hawaii is famous for its exotic beaches. Wikimedia Commons

When you’re planning your vacation in Hawaii you no doubt want to make sure you spend a lot of time in the sun and have a lot of fun. Once you’ve sorted out your rental house in Hawaii, and you’ve decided how long you’re going to stay you will need to start making plans. The good news is that we can give you a helping hand.

Hawaii is full of places to visit. VOA

Below you will find details of some of the very best things to do in Hawaii, helping to make your vacation one to remember:

Enjoy a Spot of Snorkelling

Why not dive into the blue waters and enjoy a spot of snorkelling? The seas in this part of the world are home to some turtles, beautiful fish and some incredible sights. Book a Turtle Canyon Snorkel Cruise, and head off on your tour which comes complete with snorkelling equipment that is suitable for anyone to use. If you’ve never snorkelled before, do not worry, the helpful and friendly instructors will assist you so you can dive into the water with ease.

As part of the cruise, you will be offered a couple of alcoholic drinks and unlimited alcohol-free drinks to enjoy as you make your way to Waikiki and Diamond head on a 16-foot catamaran, where you can take as many photographs as you wish.  Departing from hotels in Waikiki or the Kewalo Basin Harbour, this snorkelling tour should not be missed!

Visit Waikiki Beach

Most people go on vacation to Hawaii so they can enjoy the beautiful beaches and the stunning sunshine.  While you’re visiting this part of the world why not take a trip to Waikiki Beach and relax in the sun or under a palm tree? Listen as the clear blue waters brush up against the shore, and watch as boats, canoes, and divers enjoy their time on and in the water.

Apart from visiting beaches, there are many other things one can do in Hawaii. Wikimedia Commons

 

If you would like to avoid the beach when it’s busy, you may want to think about visiting early in the morning or as the sun is about to go down. Alternatively, you may also want to visit during the cooler months as there are fewer people on the beach then. Whenever you do decide to visit, you can be sure that you’ll have an amazing time on a beach that is known for its beauty and tropical feel.

Go Whale Spotting

We humans are not the only ones who enjoy the waters off the coast of Hawaii, whales love it too, and they can be spotted off the coast of Maui. Why not take the opportunity to hop on board a Maui Whale Watch Cruise and spend two whole hours spotting whales? Not only are you practically guaranteed to spot some of these magnificent mammals, but you will also get the chance to see them via an underwater webcam and a hydrophone, which is a type of listening device that picks up underwater sounds.

Also Read: Taking the Ancient Hawaii Dance form ‘Hula’ to 21st Century Art in US

Hawaii is also famous for its nightlife. Wikimedia Commons

Make sure you take a camera with you so you can get snap-happy when you spot a whale or two. The tour operates from December to May when the whales venture into the waters to breed, which is why you’re almost guaranteed to see them. With many different departure times and setting off from Lahaina, whale spotting will prove to be an unforgettable part of your vacation.

Take a trip to a Coconut Farm

Punakea Palms Coconut Farm is the ideal destination if you want to do something a little different while you’re in Hawaii. Walk around the farm and learn about how it works, how to get into a coconut, and enjoy its bounty. Understand how to cultivate coconuts and learn why they are so important to the local area. Located just outside of Lahaina, the coconut farm also gives you the chance to taste some very fresh coconuts. You will have to book a place on a 2.5-hour tour around the farm, but it is worth it as it’s a lot of fun.

Visit Princeville Botanical Gardens

If you have decided to spend a little time away from the beach and you want to visit somewhere peaceful Princeville Botanical Gardens is the right place for you. Owned and operated by the Robertson family who works hard to create a botanical paradise, the gardens are really beautiful. You will need to make a reservation before you can visit the gardens, but once you get here you’ll enjoy the breathtaking landscape and native Hawaiian plants.

Monsoon, Garden Lovers
Hawaii has some great gardens as well.

While you’re walking around the lush gardens you may notice that honey and fruit are grown in the area, and you’ll get the chance to sample some. Chocolate lovers will also enjoy tasting some locally produced chocolate that tastes divine. Open for tours on Mondays and Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, the Princeville Botanical Gardens need to be seen to be believed.

There are many different activities taking place every day in Hawaii, but the above 5 activities are some of the very best. If you’ve had enough of lounging on the beach for now, why not take a trip to a coconut farm, spot some whales as you cruise on a catamaran, and make your way around some magnificent botanical gardens. Finish off with a spot of snorkelling before you head to Waikiki Beach and relax in the sunshine as you feel the sand in between your toes, and feel a fresh breeze hit you as the sun beats down.