A team of scientists working under the project named as Solar Impulse have undertaken a venture to fly around the world on a plane which is solely powered by the solar energy in a bid to promote the use of clean energy all around the world. The latest leg of this project was successfully completed when Swiss pilot Andre Broschberg flew the plane from Japan to Hawaii in a journey which was 5 days long.
Global warming is becoming a widespread problem all over the world and resulting in extreme weather conditions in many countries around the world. Most of this global warming is the result of burning of the hydrocarbons like the coal in power generating units and the fossil fuels in the vehicles and air planes. Due to this increasing problem the concept of clean energy is gaining a widespread recognition around the world and the countries are trying to decrease their energy dependence on fossil fuels and coal units and switch towards the clean energy which includes the windmills and the solar energy.
To demonstrate the importance and power of this clean energy technology the Solar Impulse team has undertook a project by designing a plane which fly solely on the solar power and the plane is attempting to complete its round around the earth in several legs. The latest, longest and the most challenging leg of this journey has been completed successfully when the Swiss pilot Andre Broschberg has landed the plane on the Kalaeloa airport in Hawaii starting from the Japan and travelling some 118 consecutive hours over the pacific ocean. It took 5 tiresome days for the Swiss pilot to complete its journey over the Pacific Ocean and sets the record of the longest, non-stop, solo flight of the world in terms of time. It also set the record of the world’s longest flight in terms of distance and time by a plane running only on the solar power. The plane covered a total distance of more than 8200 kilometers or 5100 miles.
There was a large crowd at the Oahu’s Kalaeloa Airport who gathered to welcome the Broschberg on successfully concluding this challenging journey. He came out of the cockpit and wave hands to the crowd who were cheering and welcoming the Swiss pilot.
After landing Broschberg didn’t attempt to come out of the cockpit at once and remained in the cockpit for another 50 minutes when someone climbed up and gave him a leg massage. Only then he was able to stand up and step onto the ground.
The weather conditions delayed the flight beyond its actual departure time and after many delays Broschberg finally set off on Sunday from Japan for a journey over the Pacific Ocean. The plane remained in a holding pattern over the Hawaii until the landing conditions became favorable. Only then the pilot successfully attempted to land the plane which was an incredibly emotional feeling for the Solar Impulse’s team according to their twitter feed.
The Solar Impulse team began this venture in Abu Dhabi this march and the window to finish the voyage this year is open until the August or early September at most taking into account the maximum day hours the solar panel needs to generate sufficient energy.
If the voyage could not be completed owing to the weather conditions it will be resumed in the next year.Maximum daylight is the key because the plane relies on the daylight for its energy requirement during the day and through the night with the battery power. The plane is covered with 17000 solar cells for this purpose and helps the plane to fly at a speed which is no more than a car.
Piccard and Broschberg will become the first pilots in the human history to fly around the world if they manage to complete their journey successfully. Piccard, the other pilot is now scheduled to fly the plane to phoenix and he will ultimately attempt to cross the Atlantic Ocean to reach back Abu Dhabi completing a journey of over 35000 kilometers.
The plane was stuffed with sufficient food, water and energy drinks supply to fulfill the pilot’s nutritional requirements for over a week in case of extreme weather that may require the plane to remain in the air for longer time period than expected.
The pilot was also supplied with the oxygen bottles, life raft and a parachute in case of any emergency which may demand the pilot to abandon the plane. He was also allowed to take a nap of 20 minutes for at least 10-12 times flying over the pacific. He was also taught some stretching exercises which were important in increasing the blood circulation to the vital organs of the pilot allowing him to remain concentrated and alert during the flight.