By Newsgram Staff Writer
In what is being hailed as a humanitarian project to meet a human challenge, a solar powered plane will circle the world, starting form Abu Dhabi.
Solar Impulse 2, which will be undertaking the journey on Monday to promote green energy, is a result of 13 years of research and testing by two Swiss pilots Andre Borschberg and Bertrand Piccard. They will also be taking turns flying the plane on its global journey.
The 5 month journey of Solar Impulse 2 will have 12 stops and a total flight time of 25 day. Starting from Abu Dhabi and landing first in Muscat, Oman, the flight will cross Arabian sea to pass India before moving on to Myanmar, China, Hawaii and New York.
“Climate change is a fantastic opportunity to bring in the market new green technologies that save energy, save natural resources of our planet, make profit, create jobs, and sustain growth.” said Bertrand Piccard, whose idea initially was ridiculed by the aviation industry.
Solar Impulse 2, which has completed successful test flights in the United Arab Emirates on March 2, is a next step in solar power technology. It has 17,000 solar cells built into its wings which are 72 meters (236 feet) long, are longer than a jumbo, yet the plane weighs only 2.3 tones, a little more than a family car. It is the first plane run on solar power that can stay afloat for several days and nights.
The plane will make the journey without using a drop of conventional fuel.