First Round-The-World
Solar Flight

After the Solar Impulse prototype’s 8 world records, when it became the first solar airplane ever to fly through the night, between two continents, and across the United States, it is time for Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg to move on to the final phase of the adventure: the 2015 round-the-world flight.


What better way to demonstrate the importance of the pioneering, innovatory spirit than by achieving “impossible” things with renewable energy and highlighting new solutions for environmental problems?


The route: Si2 will take-off from Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirate, in late February or early March and return by late July or early August 2015. The route includes stops in Muscat, Oman; Ahmedabad and Varanasi, India; Mandalay, Myanmar; and Chongqing and Nanjing, China. After crossing the Pacific Ocean via Hawaii, Si2 will fly across the Continental U.S.A. stopping in three locations – Phoenix, and New York City at JFK. A location in the Midwest will be decided dependent on weather conditions. After crossing the Atlantic, the final legs include a stop-over in Southern Europe or North Africa before arriving back in Abu Dhabi. Solar Impulse unveiled the flight path in Abu Dhabi alongside partner representatives. This included main partners Solvay, Omega, Schindler and ABB. They were also joined by official partners Altran, Bayer, Google, Swiss Re Corporate Solutions, Swisscom and Moët Hennessy alongside Solar Impulse’s host partner Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company. 

 

A great historic first: for such an adventure, as for any premiere, there are no references. We were, and will be, faced with a number of challenges, leading us to push the limits of technological, human and piloting performance.

Around The World: crossing oceans and continents

The Around-the-World Mission Flights will take place over 5 months from the beginning of March to the end of July 2015. Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates, has been named Host City of Solar Impulse for the First Round-The-World Solar Flight, and will be the departing and landing destination.

Solar Impulse is currently in the process of confirming the steps from Abu Dhabi, and would make stops in Asia, the United States and in Southern Europe and North Africa before returning to Abu Dhabi in July 2015.

Host City: Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi, capital city of the United Arab Emirates, will be the start and finish of the first solar-powered flight around the world.

Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company, is the host partner of Solar Impulse. The team will be hosted by Masdar and Abu Dhabi at the start of January for testing and training before the start of the first solar-powered flight around the world.

Si2 was delivered in Abu Dhabi by cargo plane from the Payerne aerodrome in Switzerland on January 6th and has been showcased during the World Future Energy Summit as part of the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, which is hosted by Masdar between 17 and 22 January 2015.

This well-matched partnership will show Abu Dhabi to be a centre of expertise when it comes to renewable energy and at the same time Solar Impulse will demonstrate the far-reaching applications of clean energy during the first solar-powered flight around the world,” declared Bertrand Piccard. André Borschberg continued: “We have chosen this location as being the best and most suitable departure point for the round-the-world tour, due to its climate, infrastructure and commitment to clean technologies.

MONACO: MISSION CONTROL CENTER HOST PARTNER

In permanent contact via satellite with the airplane, the Mission Control Center (MCC) is the pilot’s “guardian angel

 The MCC is coordinating the support team that will be following Solar Impulse throughout its world tour and will be in permanent contact with the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) and the IAF (International Aeronautical Federation).  It will operate 24/7 from the initial take-off to the final landing of this 12-stage world tour.

 Twenty specialists anticipate every possible scenario and transmit information enabling the pilot to follow the optimum flight plan and complete his mission successfully.

 When flights are in progress, the flight parameters are re-calculated twice a day, taking into consideration the prevailing weather situation and amount of sunshine. Flight altitudes and track are optimized to ensure enough on-board stored energy to fly through the night.

Data: Around The World

An overview of the First Round-The-World Solar Flight, in numbers:

  • 2 pilots, Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg, flying one after the other in the single-seater cockpit
  • 1 airplane: Solar Impulse 2
  • Zero fuel on board
  • A 35,000km (22,000 miles) journey
  • 500 flying hours approx.
  • 10 legs approx., some lasting more than 5 days and nights
  • A 5-month mission (March-August 2015)
  • A 60 people support team

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