mercredi 1 juillet 2015

Solar Impulse midway between Japan and Hawaii

SolarImpulse - Around The World patch.

July 1, 2015

Solar plane midway between Japan and Hawaii, spent the first delicate cold front.

The Solar Impulse aircraft was on Wednesday July 1, midway between Hawaii and Japan after the passage of a first delicate cold front. The pilot André Borschberg has already achieved an unprecedented feat after two days and nights of non-stop trans-Pacific flight.

Solar Impulse 2 in flight over Pacific Ocean

However, it still has yet almost 60 hours holding in his cramped cockpit. "This is the first time that we begin a third day of flight without interruption, with a new charging cycle of the batteries by the sun", welcomed Bertrand Piccard, pilot alternately the solar aircraft.

A major obstacle, however, had to be crossed with the transition to midday of the first cold front, according to organizers, thrilled to see this "wall" behind the camera rather than in front. "A major hurdle has been crossed", they assured on the Internet (SolarImpulse website and Twitter).

"I'm in great shape"

The pilot André Borschberg

It is true that this front will roughly Taiwan to Alaska for days was considered so dense and impenetrable that Solar Impulse had to postpone several times its departure from Japan, where he had landed on June 1 waiting for good weather.

The passage of the front "is a very emotional moment," exclaimed Bertrand Piccard on Twitter. But shortly before this passage, he was enthusiastic: "It's a fascinating moment which shows that a plane can fly continuously producing its own energy."

Satellite weather image and actual position of the solar plane

"I am in excellent shape. The night was difficult, but beautiful. I'm completely in the mission "had for its part assured André Borschberg. "I wanted to make myself a squeegee in this aircraft," he even had time to joke.

"Jumping into the unknown"

At 16: 30 pm in Tokyo (9 am 30 in Switzerland), the aircraft had traveled more than 4320 km above the ocean, or 55% of the course, since leaving Nagoya (Central Japan) at night from Sunday to Monday.

Solar Impulse 2 plane seen from rear camera

"Many critical moments take place before the arrival in Hawaii," warned one of the leaders of the Solar Impulse communication in a video. "It is a leap into the unknown that makes André. Until this flight, in case of problems, we could decide to land at the nearest airport, but there, the plane is in the middle of nowhere, over the ocean, with no place to land "insisted Bertrand Piccard.

"We must ensure that the batteries will not charge too quickly because they become hot, the outside temperature is relatively high at this time of year," said a technician from the mission.

A month stopped

Solar Impulse 2, whose wings are covered with photovoltaic cells, had been blocked for nearly a month in Japan by bad weather. He eventually found a favorable time window to take off Monday before dawn and launch an assault in the Pacific.

The flight departed on March 9 Abu Dhabi to a world tour from 35 000 km to promote the use of renewable energy, particularly solar energy.

For more information about Solar Impulse Around The World, visit:

Images, Text, Credits: SolarImpulse/ATS/Newsnet/ Aerospace.


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