samedi 30 mai 2015

Lifts off from China for Solar Impulse 2

SolarImpulse - Around the World patch.

May 30, 2015

The revolutionary aircraft Solar Impulse 2 took off from China in the night from Saturday to Sunday and headed to Hawaii, to the most dangerous stage of its world tour.

Image Above: The start of the 7th stage of the world tour of Solar Impulse 2, the longest with 8172 km, has again been postponed due to unsafe weather conditions. No new date has been set.

The Swiss pilot André Borschberg will take six days and nights in a row only to commands.

Powered by solar energy alone, the aircraft took off at 2:40 local time Sunday (8:40 p.m. Saturday in Switzerland), from the eastern city of Nanjing where he was confined since April 21. His departure had been postponed several times due to adverse weather, including last Tuesday because of cloud cover over Nanking and the Sea of ​​Japan.

Never Solar Impulse has 2 flew over an ocean or only stayed in the air more than 24 hours: that's how this Pacific crossing is a technological challenge and a historic aviation feat.

62 years old, André Borschberg will have to keep a distance of 8,500 kilometers. A performance that will intersect only brief sleep twenty minutes. His seat, he can not leave, is equipped with a toilet system.

Solar Imapulse 2 lift off from China to Hawaii

Journey without coffee

Every day, the driver will face the Himalayan altitudes around 28,000 feet (8400 meters) and 55 degree temperature variations in the unpressurized cabin seater Solar Impulse 2.

"How will I live in this tiny environment by climbing Everest every day, passing from winter to summer every day due to temperature changes, in just 20 minutes resting me every time?" he was asked in a recent interview with AFP. For this journey, no coffee provided: "It helps a few hours, but then it is negative," he said.

Different anticipated problems

In case of serious failure in flight, the Swiss will parachute into the ocean, hundreds of kilometers from help. No vessel may in effect to track the device, which will fly at a maximum speed of 90 km / h at low altitude and 140 km / h in the upper layers.

But the hypothesis of his own death leaves marble this engineer by training, "I do not see this as risky, because we have worked long on various issues," he confided. "If we lose an engine, you can fly with the other three, for example."

"In the worst case, we have a parachute, a life raft and knows how to use. Obviously, we hope we will not have to do it, "said the pilot.

Solar Impulse 2 takes off for 5-day non-stop flight across the Pacific

Promote solar energy

2 Solar Impulse, whose wings are covered with more than 17,000 photovoltaic cells, left on March 9 in Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates) for a world tour to promote the use of renewable energy, and in particular the solar energy. He then made a stop in Oman, India, Burma and China, alternately piloted by André Borschberg and his partner in this project, Swiss explorer Bertrand Piccard.

"This first ocean crossing will be unprecedented in the history of aviation. But it is a way (to promote solar energy), not an end in itself, "tweeted Mr Borschberg Saturday within hours of takeoff.

For more information and Following The flight live on the Internet, visit:

Images, Video, Text, Credits: SolarImpulse/ATS/RT/ Aerospace.

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