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Fuel-Free Solar Impulse 2 Reached Oklahoma; Prepares for Atlantic Crossing To Complete Round the Globe Journey

May 16, 2016 08:53 AM EDT
SI Takeoff From Hawaii
Solar Impulse 2 is on its way to complete a round-the-globe journey with only solar energy fuelling the aircraft.
(Photo : Jean Revillard/Solar Impulse 2/GNR via Getty Images)

The Solar Impulse 2 embarked on its round the globe mission with zero fuel, using only solar energy earlier this year. Last month it successfully flew across the Pacific and the eco-plane just landed in Oklahoma.


The round-the-world journey of the fuel-free Solar Impulse 2 is expected to be completed this July.

"Solar Impulse has no fuel. It flies only with the sun, but it's the beginning of something, you know. It's really experimental. It's a door slightly open to the future, pushing the technologies to the extreme ultimate applications," said Bertrand Piccard, Solar Impulse 2 Founder and Pilot in an interview with CCTV.

The Solar Impulse 2 made it to the headline because it is the first fuel-free plane powered by solar energy to embark on this daunting mission to travel the globe with zero carbon footprints.

It took the plane 18 hours to reach its destination on its latest flight, according to BBC. The plane is now halfway through America and the next goal is to reach New York City.

Andre Borschberg and Bertrand Piccard worked on Solar Impulse 2 for 14 years before its flight. Together with the co-pilots, the plane has been to the Arabian Peninsula, Myanmar and China.

"The Chinese are very interested by clean technologies. They know it's the future, and China is moving very fast in the direction of clean technologies in order to have cleaner air. And they have a really smart way to move ahead, investing a lot in solar and wind," Bertrand Piccard added.

In late April, they managed to cross the Pacific from Hawaii to California. According to the pilots, it'll take another year before Solar Impulse 2 completes its mission to travel the globe using solar energy alone. They said it is not the speed that is important, but to prove that the green aviation technology works. "It's not about speed. It's really about slow and steady. It will arrive when it arrives," said Elke Neumann, Solar Impulse 2 spokesperson.

This just shows that green fuel can really do what the usual fuel does. It'll need some tweaking  and more study but the Solar Impulse 2 proves that it can work.

To complete its mission, the Solar Impulse 2 will have to reach Abu Dhabi in UAE where the journey round-the-globe begun last year.


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