Last week, Pilot Andre Borschberg settled an impressive world record for longest distance bridged with a manned solar-powered plane when he landed in Hawaii after a flight of 120 hours from Nagoya, a stunning 8200 km. The SolarImpulse is a single-seater plane covered with 17000 photovoltaic cells which drive the elecric motors and charge the lithium-ion batteries.
“Now you can fly longer with no fuel than you can with fuel. So, what Andre has done is not only a historic first for aviation, it’s a historic first for renewable energies. And this is why we are doing this project.” Mr Piccard (the co-founder of the project) told reporters after the touch down in Kalaeloa airport, Hawaii.
Having started in Abu Dhabi in the beginning of March, the team aims to complete a round-the world tour this summer. The aim of the tour is to prove the world what clean technology, in particular solar technology, can do already today. There is no direct large scale application possible of solar driven commercial airplanes.