MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Solar Impulse 2 (SI-2), a plane operating exclusively on sun energy, has one-third of the way left before it reaches Hawaii, completing the longest leg of its circumnavigation flight.
Just doing some #yoga exercises on a #solar airplane after 74 hours of flight. That's all. Regular day at the office. pic.twitter.com/6XaXX6LuB7— SOLAR IMPULSE (@solarimpulse) July 1, 2015
SI-2 has 40 more hours to go before it lands in Hawaii after leaving from Japan, according to the organizers’ estimates. On Tuesday, the plane was done with half of the Pacific leg of its flight.
Already halfway through what is probably the flight of my life! Loving it! #Pacific pic.twitter.com/W61Re43mFT— André Borschberg (@andreborschberg) July 1, 2015
The Solar Impulse 2 round-the-world journey began in March, when the plane departed from Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates. The plane has since made stops in Oman, India, Myanmar and China.
The circumnavigation flight is part of the Solar Impulse project, founded by Bertrand Piccard and his business partner, Swiss pilot Andre Borschberg. Both of them are taking turns piloting the single-seater plane during the trip.
There are over 17,200 solar cells on the plane's upper wing surface, fuselage and tailplane that collect the sun's energy which powers the engines. SI-2 can reach a maximum speed of 140 kilometres (87 miles) per hour. Its wingspan is 72 meters (236 feet) and the weight is only 2,300 kilograms, or 5,070 pounds, equivalent to that of a car.
The aircraft's prototype is Solar Impulse 1, which was used by Borschberg to conduct the world's first ever manned 26-hour solar-powered flight in July, 2010.