An airplane made a trip around the world without a single drop of fuel. The Solar Impulse plane completed the latest leg of its global journey on Saturday by landing in Dayton, Ohio.
The core objective of the project, which began in 2002, was to highlight the importance of renewable energy and the spirit of innovation. The two pilots of the plane communicate the objective of the project to the people they meet during their journey.
The pilots Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg said in a statement, “The flight is part of the attempt to achieve the first ever Round-The-World Solar Flight, the goal of which is to demonstrate how modern clean technologies can achieve the impossible.”
Noteworthy, the Solar Impulse plane’s wings are equipped with 17,000 solar cells which provide the power to propeller the engine as well as charge batteries. It can take a flight of 28 mph, but its speed doubles up during the day when there is a strong ray from the sun. At night, it runs on stored solar energy and the speed decreases. Interestingly, its weight is equal to a family car.
Solar Impulse 2, which is a Swiss long-range experimental solar-powered aircraft, landed in Ohio after completing its global flight, where the Wright brothers grew up. It took off from Tulsa Airport at 5 am Saturday and in 16 hours reached Dayton.
After the landing in Dayton, Borschberg tweeted, “Amazing to have landed in #Dayton after being in the sky for 17 hours!”
The voyage was undertaken in stages and it started in March 2015 from Abu Dhabi. It stopped in many countries like Oman, Myanmar, China and Japan. The airplane will be making another stop in New York before it takes off towards Europe. The plane will remain in Dayton until early next week and the exact take-off time will be decided 24 hours in advance, as informed by a spokesperson from the plane crew and as reported by NBC News.
An air traffic control expert, Niklaus Gerber is assisting in planning the aircraft’s route. Gerber said that the voyage to New York will be a challenge for the Solar Impulse plane as it will encounter air traffic from John F. Kennedy, La Guardia and Newark International airports.