Fuel-free solar plane sets off on longest flight

Fuel-free solar plane sets off on longest flight

The Swiss pilot of a solar plane embarked on the longest leg of the first attempt to fly around the world without a drop of fuel.

Andre Borschberg took off from Nanjing, China, at 2:39am local time in the Solar Impulse 2 for a flight across the Pacific Ocean expected to last six days and five nights, or at least 130 hours.

Fuel-free solar plane sets off on longest flight

The journey started in March in Abu Dhabi, and the solar plane has stopped in Oman, India, Burma and China.

The 5,079 mile flight from Nanjing to Hawaii is the seventh of 12 flights and the longest and most dangerous.

Fuel-free solar plane sets off on longest flight

Mr Borschberg and another Swiss pilot, Bertrand Piccard, have been taking turns flying the single-seater Swiss plane during a five-month journey to promote renewable energy use.

“This is the moment of truth,” Mr Borschberg, 62, said before take-off.

Fuel-free solar plane sets off on longest flight

He said that if successful, the flight to Hawaii will demonstrate the credibility of the vision he and Mr Piccard embraced 16 years ago “to change our mindset regarding the enormous potential of clean technologies and renewable energies”.

After Hawaii, the plan is for Mr Piccard to fly the aircraft on to Phoenix, Arizona.

More in this Section

Chinese New Year celebrations subdued as coronavirus death toll passes 40Chinese New Year celebrations subdued as coronavirus death toll passes 40

Death toll from eastern Turkey earthquake climbs to 21Death toll from eastern Turkey earthquake climbs to 21

Recording links Donald Trump to Ukraine ambassador’s removal, report saysRecording links Donald Trump to Ukraine ambassador’s removal, report says

Coronavirus tests negative for two Scottish patientsCoronavirus tests negative for two Scottish patients


Lifestyle

Food news with Joe McNameeThe Menu: Upcoming food highlights

THE health properties of tea have long been advertised. “It maketh the body active and lusty” a 1660 promotion suggested. However, before you dunk your teabag into a mug of steaming water, spare a thought for the environment. Some have polypropylene to help to seal them and it doesn’t decompose.Storm in a teacup: Top 8 loose-leaf teas

Bestselling author Isabel Allende talks to Rowena Walsh about life, grief, and why it’s never too late to fall in loveIsabel Allende: It's never too late to fall in love

Cliffs of Moher Retreat owner Michelle Moroney has written a book on finding self-worth and stepping back from our 24/7 lives. She talks to Marjorie Brennan about the need to unwindMichelle Moroney highlights the need to take stock of our lives

More From The Irish Examiner