Solar Impulse 2 begins its final flight from Cairo

Image: wiki/Solar_Impulse

Solar Impulse – Zero-fuel Aircraft,  has left the Egyptian capital, Cairo, as the last segment of its global tour. The aircraft should take about 48 hours to reach Abu Dhabi, UAE- the place it began the circumnavigation in March 2015.

Pilot Bertrand Piccard is at the controls one final time.

Solar Impulse has covered some 30,000 km in its global tour to become the first plane to circle the world without using fuel. The Cairo-Abu Dhabi flight marks the 17th and final part in the journey, which has included crossings of the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.

More than a decade, Mr Piccard and Mr Borschberg have been working on the Solar Impulse project.

Their plane is wider than a 747 jumbo jet but weighs just 2.3 tonnes, which poses some unique challenges:

  • The aircraft is very sensitive to the weather conditions
  • But its solar cell and battery efficiency is very high
  • This means it can stay aloft for many days and nights
  • The pilot is permitted only catnaps of up to 20 minutes
  • The cockpit is little bigger than a public telephone box



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