Solar Impulse landed in Ahmedabad (India) after crossing the Arabian Sea, completing the longest distance ever flown by a solar airplane in aviation history.
After an eleven hour pit-stop in Muscat (Oman) made by Solar Impulse’s CEO and co-founder André Borschberg, the attempt of achieving the First Round-The-World Solar Flight continued onwards to India.
Bertrand Piccard piloted Solar Impulse 2 (Si2) from Muscat to Ahmedabad (India), flying across the Arabian Sea and setting a distance world record for straight distance, pre-declared waypoints record by traveling 1,468 km during Si2’s flight (subject to validation by FAI [Fédération Aéronautique Internationale). The record of straight distance, pre-declared waypoints 1,386.5 km was previously held by André Borschberg during the Si1 Across America mission in 2013.
Read: 7 Things to Know About the Solar Impulse 2
The landing in Ahmedabad occurred at 11:25pm local time (5:55pm GMT) after 13 hours and 20 minutes of flight, reaching an altitude of 8,534 meters with a ground speed of roughly 100 knots.
“More important to us than the world record is the fact that Solar Impulse 2 is the first solar airplane to fly in Asia. It is also an honor of being welcomed by the state of Gujarat, a visionary state which leads India in terms of solar installation,” said Piccard and Borschberg.
The Solar Impulse team will stay 4 days in Ahmedabad for visits and events organized with the support of partners in order to promote renewable energies and clean technologies, like the ones making it possible for this revolutionary prototype to fly day and night with zero fuel.
The next legs of the round the world attempt will include Varanasi and Mandalay (Myanmar) before reaching China. The pilots and co-founders of Solar Impulse will continue to take turns flying in the single-seater aircraft.
Filed Under: Aerospace + defense