The Solar Impulse 2 airplane has completed its flight around the worldBy Robin-Leigh Chetty 26 July 2016 | Categories: news
"Not just a first in the history of aviation, but also a first in the history of energy." This is what co-pilot Andre Borschberg told the Guardian upon completing his trip around the world with his Solar Impulse 2 airplane.
The solar-powered plane set off on 9 March last year, after Borschberg spent 13 years developing the plane and getting the right sponsors onboard to help him complete his journey. The final leg of the round-the-world trip saw the Solar Impulse 2 depart from Cairo on 23 July, taking two days and 37 minutes to land in Abu Dhabi.
In terms of flight time, the Solar Impulse 2 spent an estimated 505 hours in the air, the equivalent of 23 days, stopping at numerous airports across Europe, Asia and North America along the way. With a total of 16 different legs to the journey, the longest time in the air saw the Solar Impulse 2 navigate over the Pacific Ocean for four days, 21 hours and 51 minutes, completing a flight from Japan to Hawaii.
As for the future of the Solar Impulse 2 and Andre Borschberg, The Verge notes that he's called his round-the-world trip a call to action. Whether heads of state and people across the globe answer it, remains to be seen.
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