The Solar Impulse 2 landed in Spain Thursday after completing a 71-hour flight from NY in the first “magical” solo transatlantic crossing in a solar-powered airplane.
Fortunately, the weather, said Gindroz, had been stable during the arduous flight over the Atlantic, with a good tail wind speeding up the plane’s journey, and spatterings of cloud-that could block the sun from powering the craft-luckily located either in front or behind the solar plane. Applause broke out as the experimental plane set down at Seville airport in southern Spain just before 7:40 am.
The plane’s mission managers will now decide on a route to Abu Dhabi where the venture began in March, 2015. “Today, it’s a solar-powered aeroplane for the first time ever, flying electric with no fuel and no pollution”. The 15th stage started in NY on Monday and ended on Thursday in Seville, Spain.
“Bertrandpiccard lands in #Seville completing, in 70h, the 1st #Atlantic solar flight”, Solar Impulse tweeted at 9.41am UAE time.
Solar Impulse 2 flew non-stop from NY to Seville, a key and risky leg in the mission to circumnavigate the globe.
“It is so fantastic!”, Piccard told the plane’s mission control centre in Monaco in remarks broadcast online as the plane, which took off from NY on Monday, touched down.
The solar plane weighs about the same as an average auto but has a wingspan equivalent to a Boeing 747 and the solar energy is stored by 17 000 photovoltaic cells, which power four electric motors. The plane’s systems store energy during the daylight and fly through the night on battery power. The journey shattered the record for longest solar-powered flight in terms of distance and duration.
After crossing the Atlantic, Borschberg is now scheduled to fly to Egypt, and Piccard will likely pilot the plane on the final, historic leg from there back to Abu Dhabi.
But the real goal is to “inspire people to use [renewable] technologies and show people they can use these technologies every day to have a better quality of life”, he said.
“The adventure continues”, Piccard told a news conference following his April flight, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Borschberg flew Solar Impulse 2 more than 117 hours on the longest leg of its journey from Japan to Hawaii.