Solar Impulse recently became the world’s first aircraft to make its crossing over the Atlantic powered only by the sun. Bertrand Piccard was the pilot to complete this historic journey in the aircraft fueled by solar energy.
The plane landed in Seville, Spain at 1:38 am ET on 24 June 2016. The plane received a unique welcome by the Spanish Patrulla Águila aerobatic formation team.
Solar Impulse took off from New York for its 71-hour long flight, on Monday. Piccard was enthusiastic about the trip and regarded it as history in the making:
“It is symbolic because all the means of transportation have always tried to cross the Atlantic, the first steamboats, the first aeroplane, the first balloons, the first airships and, today, it is the first solar-powered aeroplane.”
Solar Impulse is on a world tour and is aiming to cross the world. Another pilot, named André Borschberg set a new record for the longest solo flight in the history, at 117 hours. The previous longest solo flight was only 76 hours long, 41 hours too short!
The one-ton lithium battery has also helped Solar Impulse set night flying records. The battery is, of course, powered by the 17000 solar panels.
Depending on the weather and the stamina of the pilot, Solar Impulse can virtually stay aloft forever. The 236-feet wide aircraft affords unforgettable and amazing sights that continue to awe Piccard:
“Every minute is a minute of suspense, a minute of challenge, and the fact I can stay [aloft] without fuel or pollution for four days and four nights is something so new.”
Solar Impulse has already made it through 90 percent of its trip. The trip will end in Abu Dhabi, right from where the plane took off. The next destination of Solar Impulse will either be Egypt or Greece.