Andre Borschberg has broken the record for the longest solo flight in the world. The Solar Impulse 2 aircraft pilot has now been aloft for more than 80 hours without refueling or making a touchdown. Andre has broken the 76-hour record set by the Late Steve Fossett, back in 2006. But Andre has miles to go before he sleeps as the plane still has some 40 hours of journey left to cover.
After unfavorable weather conditions threatened the Pacific crossing of the Solar Impulse 2 at the beginning of June this year, experts had announced that bad weather conditions were likely to stall the plane’s take-off for a few more days. The journey to Hawaii was earlier supposed to begin in Nanjing, China. But due to adverse weather conditions, the solar-powered plane finally took off from Nagoya in Japan earlier this week.
Solar Impulse 2 has not just broken the solo flight record. The plane and its pilot have broken several other records by staying afloat for more than 80 hours. The plane has broken all distance and duration records for solar aviation. Initially, the trip was supposed to be completed in 12 stages. But the unscheduled stop at Nagoya forced an additional 13th stage.
The solar powered plane has proven the potential of renewable sources of energy in the aviation industry. The trip has been a daunting mental and physical challenge for the pilot and in fact the entire team. Andre has been sitting in an unpressurized and unheated cockpit for almost 5 days now. The plane’s circumnavigation will end at Abu Dhabi, via the United States and Europe.
(Featured Image: theverge.com)