Solar Impulse 2 is on its way to India!
Solar Impulse 2, the second Swiss solar powered airplane by Swiss psychiatrist and aeronaut Bertrand Piccard, and Swiss businessman André Borschberg, is on its way from Muscat to Ahmedabad in India. (The header image shows Solar Impulse 2's planned route across the Arabian Sea to reach Ahmedabad). Solar Impulse is reportedly the only airplane of perpetual endurance, able to fly day and night on solar power, without a drop of fuel. The second aircraft, registered HB-SIB, is attempting a round the world flight - a distance of 35,000km with about 10 stops.
Solar Impulse 2 has a wingspan of 72 meters - wider than that of the Boeing 747 jumbo jet! This wingspan is 2.5 times that of FLYeasy's Embraer E190 aircraft! The weight, however, is just 2,300kgs when loaded (with the pilot), and this is just around 1% of the Boeing 747 jumbo jet's weight. This large wingspan and the lightweight are key to the Solar Impulse's ability to fly non-stop.
The aircraft has solar panels on its wings, horizontal tail, and the upper fuselage between the wings and the tailplane. The aircraft has 17,248 solar panels, which during the day recharge four lithium batteries weighing a total of 633 kgs. The airplane is powered by four electric motors, each producing 13kW of power, driving propellers that are 4 meters in diameter.
During its takeoff and climb phase, Solar Impulse 2 requires about 33kW of power., which is got from the batteries. As the airplane climbs much higher to capture the sun's rays, the batteries will get recharged, and the power needed to sustain flight will be derived from both the solar panels.
Solar Impulse took off at 02:35UTC on the second flight from Muscat in the Sultanate of Oman, to Ahmedabad. Bertrand Piccard will fly the airplane across 1465km (791NM) for an estimated time of 16 hours, averaging a speed of about 49 knots. SI2 will next fly to Varanasi from Ahmedabad, covering a distance of 1071km (578NM) in an estimated time of 15 hours.
At FLYeasy, we value the efforts of the men and women behind making this feat possible. We relate to the Solar Impulse team's challenger spirit, engagement, professionalism, freshness and innovativeness that we too practice as part of our culture. All the best, Solar Impulse!
(At the time of writing this piece, Solar Impulse 2 is 150km from Muscat and at an altitude of 17,000ft)
To track solar impulse, visit their site: www.solarimpulse.com
About FLYeasy: FLYeasy will connect various cities from across India to its home base at Bangalore, offering a unique combination of direct connections. Our connections are delivered through our modern, state of the art E-jets, which are quiet, and comfortable. With the widest seats and longest legroom in class, short boarding times, no middle seats, and complimentary on board food/snacks service, we only keep adding more value to your travel. We value your time, and money. To read more, click here.