After flying over 5,000 miles purely on solar power, Solar Impulse landed in Honolulu. The Round the World flight mission, led by co-founders and pilots Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg, is the first of its kind.
The nonstop trip across the Pacific Ocean—never before attempted by a zero fuel airplane—began in Nagoya, Japan and lasted 5 days and 5 nights.
A ground crew member (R) is walks near the solar-powered airplane Solar Impulse 2 at a mobile hanger at Nagoya airport in Nagoya on June 3, 2015. The record-breaking Solar Impulse 2 landed safely in Nagoya, Japan late on June 1 on an unscheduled stop caused by bad weather over the Pacific. AFP PHOTO / TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA (Photo credit should read TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA/AFP/Getty Images)
Solar Impulse is equipped with 17,000 solar cells that absorb energy during daytime to supply power to a 2,077-pound lithium battery used during the night. The flight will mark Solar Impulse’s eighth completed leg of the 13-leg journey, putting the plane on track to circumnavigate the globe this summer—another feat no solar powered plane has successfully completed.
“We want to show that clean technology and renewable energy can achieve the unthinkable,” said Bertrand Piccard, pilot and chairman of the program. “We want youth, leaders, organizations and policymakers to understand that what Solar Impulse can achieve in the air, everyone can accomplish on the ground in their everyday lives. Renewable energy can become an integral part of our lives, and together, we can help save our planet’s natural resources.”
“The drive behind the Solar Impulse mission is to demonstrate how innovation and a pioneering spirit can change the world,” said Silvio Napoli, CEO of Schindler. “That is why Schindler is a main partner in the Solar Impulse project. We share this spirit of vision and innovation for the future. As a leading global manufacturer of elevators, escalators and moving walks, Schindler is pushing the boundaries of how people view mobility in the cities of tomorrow.”
“We are so incredibly proud to be a part of this historic mission,” said Greg Ergenbright, president, Schindler Elevator Corporation USA. “This partnership is the perfect embodiment of Schindler’s ongoing investment in innovative technology for sustainable mobility. Bertrand, André and the entire Solar Impulse team continue to inspire us in our relentless pursuit of trailblazing technology that safely moves more people with less energy.”