jeudi 23 juin 2016

SolarImpulse - Completing the Atlantic Crossing: more than an aviation first!

SolarImpulse - Around The World patch.

June 23, 2016

Ending gloriously with a colorful flight formation from the Spanish Patrulla Águila, Bertrand Piccard landed in Seville at 5:38AM UTC, 7:38AM CET, 1:38AM EDT on June 23rd after completing the crossing of the Atlantic Ocean.

Spanish Patrulla Águila welcome Si2

Bertrand Piccard has surpassed aviation with this flight by adding an extra twist to this challenge of crossing the Atlantic Ocean. Just like Charles Lindbergh, Bertrand Piccard flew across the Atlantic Ocean, but didn’t choose the easiest way to get there. Himself, André Borschberg and the Solar Impulse team needed an extra challenge: to cross the Atlantic Ocean without a single drop of fuel. This is not a first for aviation, but definitely a first for clean technology.

A beautiful flight that has countlessly left Bertrand in awe at the vast expanse of the Atlantic Ocean - encountering oil tankers, islands, whales, icebergs, and an abundance of water. This flight is Bertrand Piccard’s longest flight with Si2 - reaching a total flight time of 71 hours and 8 minutes to make it across the pond to Europe on the round-the-world solar flights.

Bertrand Piccard, pilot of this flight

His solar brother, André Borschberg, joined the mission engineers at the Mission Control Center in Monaco during the first half of the flight to help plan and follow the flight as closely as possible. They had a few chats over the satcom where André shared his experience from his 117 hour flight. Then he had to race off to Seville, Spain to get the ground crew operations underway, preparing for Bertrand Piccard’s landing. Michèle Piccard, Bertrand’s partner, also passed by the Mission Control Center for two days during the flight to watch the flight from up close and support Bertrand.

Solar Impulse Airplane - Leg 15 - Flight New York to Seville

At 6:30AM UTC, 8:30AM CET, 2:30AM EDT on June 20th, Bertrand Piccard took off from New York City. Thanks to the meticulous work from the Mission Control Center and our weather specialists, they were able to identify a narrow window, bypassing a cold front that was situated in the middle of the Atlantic. We were lucky because it only took the mission engineers nine days to find a weather window to cross the Atlantic Ocean - a lot less time than anyone expected for the volatile Atlantic Ocean. This window opened up to a fantastic path that gave way to this flight to the beautiful Spanish city, Seville.

Si2 landing at Seville

What’s next?

We have now accomplished the crossing of both the Pacific and the Atlantic, the world’s two biggest oceans. This means that 90% of the Round-The-World journey is already behind us. That number sounds completely crazy!

What lies ahead for the remaining 10%? Still a mystery. What we know is that we’ll be staying a few days in Seville – not sure about the organization of a public day yet, we’ll keep you posted – and then fly to Egypt or Greece. To get the latest updates, just give us your email address here and we’ll be sure to send them to you as soon as something new comes up:

In another three flights or so we’ll be landing in the summer heat of Abu Dhabi. We’re really beginning to feel like success is at our fingertips! Success will be measured by the number of kilometres we’ve accomplished, but most of all by the number of people we will have inspired to follow their dreams and make the world a better place. Help us by spreading the #futureisclean message!

For more information about SolarImpulse Around The World, visit:

Images, Video, Text, Credit: SolarImpulse.

Best regards,

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