Solar Impulse 2 Reaches Nanjing, China Successfully Completing Leg 6 of the First Round-the-World Solar Flight
Nanjing (China), April 21, 2015 – Solar Impulse 2 (“Si2”), the world’s most advanced solar-powered airplane and the first to fly day and night without fuel, landed successfully in Nanjing, People’s Republic of China, following a 20 day stay in Chongqing. With Bertrand Piccard at the controls, the solar airplane concluded the sixth leg of the historic trip around the world this evening at 11:28 pm local time China (3:28 pm GMT).
“My job as a pilot was relatively easy. The preparatory measures however proved challenging for our team of weather specialists and engineers from Si’s Partner Altran at the Monaco Control Center. We simulated all possible trajectories and exhausted all different strategies to get Solar Impulse 2 in the air; from defining pit-stops at airports along the route, to different speeds, altitudes and holding patterns. Throughout the entire process, the Chinese authorities have been unfailingly helpful and open to our ideas. We are amazed by the spirit of our team and the willingness of our partners to help us achieve our goal: The first Round-The-World flight without fuel” said Bertrand Piccard, Solar Impulse Initiator and Chairman.
This journey was also essential from a technical perspective as it was used to verify and fine-tune final elements in the preparation of the Pacific Ocean crossing scheduled for early May, pending favorable weather conditions. This last leg is bringing Solar Impulse one step closer to an aviation first – the next part of the circumnavigation will require flying five consecutive days and nights in a solar-powered aircraft to cross the Pacific, a feat that has never been accomplished before.
Commenting on the arrival in Nanjing André Borschberg said: “Nanjing represents a turning point in the entire mission; this is where everything comes together for us as pilots after initiating the project 12 years ago. This is the moment of truth where all the technical and human challenges will have to be overcome. We now have less than a month to mentally and physically prepare for what will be Solar Impulse’s longest flight to date: a five day and five night journey across the Pacific Ocean from Nanjing to Hawaii.”
André Borschberg is currently in his home country Switzerland, where he traveled last week to be evaluated and treated for migraine symptoms and a minor skin condition. André will return to the Solar Impulse team later this week to begin the final preparations for the next leg to Hawaii (USA).
SI’s pioneering spirit shared and supported by its Partner companies and organizations have demonstrated that it is now possible to achieve incredible things with clean technologies: New industrial processes such as insulating houses, electric mobility, household appliances and many more products and applications which can improve living standards. The time spent in Nanjing will be an important occasion for Solar Impulse’s Partners, allowing them the opportunity to showcase to customers, clients and employees in China their contribution to the Solar Impulse mission.
In the coming months, Mr. Piccard and Mr. Borschberg will continue their expedition around the globe promoting a cleaner future (FutureIsClean.org). Given the low speed of the ultra-light aircraft, the round-the-world mission will demand over 500 flight hours—or nearly three weeks in the air, spread over five months, covering the roughly 22,000 mile (35,000 km) journey. Si2 is the largest aircraft ever built with such a low weight, equivalent to that of a small car.
After crossing the Pacific Ocean, Solar Impulse will stop in the United States, and then either North Africa or Southern Europe, before returning to Abu Dhabi to complete the first ever round-the-world solar flight.
The Round-The-World Solar Impulse mission at a glance so far:
- March 9th, 2015: First leg Abu Dhabi (UAE) – Al Bateen Executive Airport / Muscat (Oman) – Muscat International Airport
- March 10th, 2015: Second leg Muscat (Oman) – Muscat International Airport / Ahmedabad (India) – Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport
- March 18th, 2015: Third leg Ahmedabad (India) – Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport / Varanasi (India) – Varanasi International Airport
- March 19th, 2015: Fourth Leg Varanasi (India) – Varanasi International / Mandalay (Myanmar) – Mandalay International Airport
- March 29th, 2015: Fifth Leg Mandalay (Myanmar) – Mandalay International Airport / Chongqing (China) – Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport
- April 21st, 2015: Sixth Leg Chongqing (China) – Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport / Nanjing (China) – Nanjing Lukou International Airport
Information on Flight 6: Chongqing to Nanjing (China)
Pilot: Bertrand Piccard, Initiator and Chairman of Solar Impulse
When: Take-off at 6:06 am local time on April 21st, 2015 (10:06 pm GMT on April, 20th, 2015)
Landed at 11:28 pm local time China on April 21st, 2015 (3:28 pm GMT on April 21th, 2015)
Flight time: 17:22 hours
Maximum altitude: 4,270 m (14,009 ft)
Maximum ground speed: 95 km/h
Flight distance: 1,241 km
You can download information, photographs and B-roll footage in the press section of the Solar Impulse website: http://press.solarimpulse.com
Track the flight LIVE on www.solarimpulse.com
Follow the experience from the cockpit and see what the pilot is watching in real time thanks to the 5 on-board cameras. The platform also offers access to all the telemetry data (altitude, speed, battery level, etc.), by clicking on the “cockpit” icon and for those who missed the event all the legs can be relived through the “logbook” page.
iFrame SiTV for take-off:
Media Relations Department
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The platform www.FutureIsClean.org, was designed with the support of our web partner, Google, and aims to mobilize individuals, organizations, celebrities and politicians to confront the Conference on Climate Change of the United Nations (COP21), which will define the new Kyoto protocol in December 2015 in Paris. The goal is to establish the largest petition ever created to convince governments to implement technology solutions that are necessary. Every site visitor is asked to add their voice to the message “I want concrete solutions for a clean future” and share amongst their networks.
Join the movement: www.FutureIsClean.org
About Solar Impulse
The clean tech revolution: The zero-fuel airplane
Swiss pioneers Bertrand Piccard (Chairman) and André Borschberg (CEO) are the founders, pilots and driving force behind Solar Impulse, the first aircraft able to fly day and night without a drop of fuel – propelled solely by the sun’s energy. With the Si2 aircraft, they will attempt the first Round-The-World Solar Flight in 2015. Supported by Main Partners Solvay, Omega, Schindler, ABB, and Official Partners Google, Altran, Bayer MaterialScience, Swiss Re Corporate Solutions, Swisscom and Moët Hennessy, this historic first aims at demonstrating that clean technologies can achieve the impossible.
After the original Solar Impulse Si1 prototype which holds 8 world records, Si2 engineers have designed and constructed a new single-seater aircraft made of carbon fiber. It has a 72 meter wingspan (larger than that of the Boeing 747) for a weight of just 2,300 kg, equivalent to that of a car. The 17,248 solar cells built into the wing supply electric motors (17.5 CV each) with renewable energy. The solar cells recharge four lithium polymer batteries totaling 633 kg each, which allow the aircraft to fly at night and therefore have virtually unlimited autonomy.
The Si2 Round-The-World flight kicked-off from Abu Dhabi (UAE), on March 9th, 2015. Since then, route stops included Muscat (Oman), Ahmedabad and Varanasi (India), Chongqing ad Nanjing (China). The next destination upon departing from Nanjing will be crossing the Pacific Ocean via Hawaii. Si2 will fly across the USA stopping in Phoenix, the Midwest, and New York City at JFK. After crossing the Atlantic Ocean, the final legs include a stop-over in Southern Europe or North Africa before completing the Round-The-World flight at its final destination in Abu Dhabi.
For more information, connect with Solar Impulse: www.solarimpulse.com
Download the Solar Impulse Official App here:
Information on Solar Impulse’s CEO and co-founder André Borschberg, is available at: