In this video I review the legacy left to us by the Solar Impulse 2 flight of 2015. In Abu Dhabi in 2015, the Solar Impulse 2 took off to begin its flight around the globe powered only by solar panels.
This innovative aircraft, flown and financed by Swiss businessman and pilot André Borschberg and pilot Bertrand Piccard, was to become the first solar powered aircraft to circumnavigate the Earth.
During its flight, the Solar Impulse 2 set several new world records; it became the first solar aircraft to fly through the night, between two continents, and across the USA.
It flew 40,000 km (about 24,859 miles) non-stop, around the Earth, powered only by energy from the Sun, in five days and five nights.
During its flight it emitted zero polluting emissions.
Although this aeroplane proved its point, that solar power has the potential to be an energy source for at least some type of aircraft the questions remain, “What did we learn from this flight? What is its legacy?”
So let’s see if we can answer those questions with a brief review of what occurred.
How Did the Solar Impulse 2 Work?
The Solar Impulse 2 is a small, one-seat aircraft containing over 17,000 solar cells incorporated into a colossal 72m wingspan and along the fuselage. By comparison, the Boeing 747’s wingspan is only 60m.
Pilots Borschberg and Piccard took turns flying the experimental aircraft during the trip. They were helped by a huge team on the ground whose main task was to anticipate every possible scenario and to ensure that the aircraft was working optimally.
The Solar Impulse’s journey depended very much on suitable weather conditions. However, this didn’t mean that the aircraft couldn’t fly in cloud or at night.
During the day, the solar cells recharged the aircraft’s lithium batteries, allowing the Solar Impulse 2 to maintain power at night.
To learn more about the history of the project and to become involved please visit http://solarimpulse.com.
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