Airborne! (Image © Solar Impulse)

Solar Impulse rises in Japan

Solar powered aircraft Solar Impulse is busy breaking records as these words are typed, in this case the record for longest solar powered flight ever. The aircraft took off from Nagoya, Japan, on Monday 29 June at 03.00 hrs local time and is scheduled to arrive in Honolulu, Hawaii later this week. Total expected flight time: 120 hours.

The take off from Nagoya is a relief for the Solar Impulse team, following an aborted attempt last week and – several weeks ago – an unscheduled stop in Nagoya in the first place. Solar Impulse aimed at crossing the Pacific directly from China to Hawaii, but worsening weather conditions forced the team to land in Nagoya. Weather also caused the last minute aborted take off last week.

After close to 15 hours of flying time and piloted by Andre Borschberg, Solar Impulse now finds itself well over Pacific waters. Cruising altitude is 18,000 feet and airspeed is 44 knots.

© 2015 editor Elmer van Hest
Featured image (top): Airborne! (Image © Solar Impulse)