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Fri, Jul 03, 2015

Solar Impulse 2 Lands In Hawaii

Longest Leg Of The Around-The-World Journey Complete

Solar Impulse 2 has landed in Hawaii, after departing from Nagoya, Japan just shy of five days ago.

Pilot Andre Borschberg landed the solar-powered airplane at Kalaeloa Airport just before 0600 local time, or about noon EDT (1600 GMT). The flight lasted 118 hours and covered about 5,144 miles across the Pacific Ocean.

The flight achieved two world records; absolute distance and duration for solar aviation. Borschberg and Bertrand Piccard said in a news release that they want to remind everyone that their adventure is dedicated to the #FutureIsClean initiative aiming at collecting millions of voices to encourage governments worldwide to replace outdated polluting devices with new clean technology.

The flight is also the record for unrefuelled flight. That was previously held by American Steve Fossett, who spent just under 77 hours aboard the Virgin Atlantic GlobalFlyer, in which he circumnavigated the globe on a single tank of fuel in 2006. That airplane now hangs in the Smithsonian's Udvar Hazy center in Virginia.

If all goes according to plan. Solar Impulse 2 will now spend a few days in Hawaii before Piccard begins the ninth leg of the solar circumnavigation attempt. The next intended destination is Phoenix, AZ, a slightly shorter flight than the one just completed, but which is still expected to take about four days.

(Images provided by Solar Impulse)

FMI: www.solarimpulse.com


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