The Swiss pilots of Solar Impulse 2 unveiled the flight path they plan to take on their 35,000 kilometre around the world journey ahead of take-off from Abu Dhabi. Solar Impulse 2 will take-off from Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates, in late February or early March and return by late July or early August 2015.
The route includes stops in Muscat, Oman; Ahmedabad and Varanasi, India; Mandalay, Myanmar; and Chongqing and Nanjing, China. After crossing the Pacific Ocean via Hawaii, Si2 will fly across the Continental U.S.A. stopping in three locations – Phoenix, and New York City at JFK. A location in the Midwest will be decided dependent on weather conditions. After crossing the Atlantic, the final legs include a stop-over in Southern Europe or North Africa before arriving back in Abu Dhabi.
The first round-the-world solar adventure will span approximately 25 flight days, spread over five months and covering approximately 35,000 kilometres at speeds of between 50 and 100 km/h. “With our attempt to complete the first solar powered round-the-world flight, we want to demonstrate that clean technology and renewable energy can achieve the impossible. We want young people, leaders, organisations and policymakers to see what Solar Impulse can achieve and inspire everyday lives. Renewable energy can become an integral part of our lives, and together, we can help save our planet’s natural resources,” declared Bertrand Piccard, initiator and chairman of Solar Impulse.
During stopovers, the Solar Impulse team will organise meetings, airplane visits and Google Hangouts On Air in order to promote the mission’s message and highlight innovative technical solutions to climate change. In doing so, Solar Impulse hopes to foster an interest in clean energy amongst youth, industry professionals and government representatives seeking to implement ambitious energy policies.