After flying for 5 whole days across the Pacific Ocean from Japan, a solar-powered plane landed in Hawaii on July 3rd, allowing Swiss pilot Andre Borschberg to break the record for the world’s longest nonstop solo flight.
The carbon-fiber airplane, named The Solar Impulse 2, and weighing over 5,000 pounds, flew completely without fuel, only propelled by the energy collected by 17,000 solar cells installed on its wings. The collected energy was also used to charge the batteries that powered the aircraft during the night.
Pilot Borschberg biggest achievement is not only his 118-hour flight, but the fact that it sets a precedent in the history of aviation, and is also a breakthrough in the uses of renewable energy. After landing in complete silence, broken only by the sound of a helicopter flying nearby, Borschberg manifested: “Nobody now can say that renewable energies cannot do the impossible.”
The landing of this unique aircraft coincides with Hawaii’s recent efforts towards favoring the use of clean energy. Governor David Ige recently signed a new legislation, which directs the state’s utilities to generate 100% of the electricity from renewable energy resources by 2045.
Image Copyright: Alpha Energy Management Inc.