Solar Impulse: The little plane breaks big records
After five days of non-stop flight, the sun-powered Solar Impulse 2 aircraft has landed in Hawaii while breaking records in the process.
On Friday, pilot Andre Borschberg was finally able to step out of the cockpit and walk around for the first time since the plane’s departure on Monday. Borschberg had spent five days with little room to move while only being able to sleep for 20 minutes at a time. After days in these conditions, the journey started to take a toll on the pilot.
During the fourth day I felt very tired, having climbed the equivalent altitude of Mount Everest four times pic.twitter.com/N6Wk1vi9ok
— André Borschberg (@andreborschberg) July 3, 2015
Borschberg pushed through his fatigue and flew 4,000 miles from Japan to Hawaii without making a single stop along the way. Because of Borschberg’s resolve, he was able to break the record for the world’s longest solar-powered flight in time and distance traveled. This was also the longest solo flight in time without stopping.
The previous record holder was the Virgin GlobalFlyer, flown by businessman Steve Fossett. Virgin Group’s founder, Richard Branson, showed his support for the Solar Impulse breaking his company’s flight record.
— Richard Branson (@richardbranson) July 3, 2015
Alternate pilot Bertrand Piccard will continue the journey by flying the aircraft from Hawaii to Arizona. Piccard and Borschberg have been switching shifts for months in their world round flight, but they aren’t making the trip for the purpose of breaking records.
“The most important thing isn’t to make world records,” said Piccard to USA TODAY. “It’s to show what we can do with clean technologies.”
These two pilots and the many engineers behind the Solar Impulse 2 have shown the world the true power of eco-friendly technology.
What does this record breaking flight mean for the future use of solar-powered technology. Leave a comment or talk to me on Twitter @Karbowski_Devon.