The Solar Impulse 2, a solar-powered plane, has completed a journey across the Pacific Ocean. The Solar Impulse 2 began a trip around the world in March 2015. The journey across the Pacific, referred to as “The Golden Flight”, was flown by Swiss pilots Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg.
The goal of the Swiss-team is to complete the first trip around the world in a plane without fuel and without polluting the environment. So far, the plane has flown to five different countries since taking off from the United Arab Emirates last year.
The trans-pacific portion of the trip was considered to be the most dangerous leg due to limited landing sites, according to The Washington Post. The solar-powered plane has sustained damage over the course of its trip forcing the pilots to make several long stops along the way. The plane landed safely in California over the weekend after being delayed in Hawaii since July because of a damaged battery.
The Solar Impulse 2 team sent this tweet with footage of their landing:
— SOLAR IMPULSE (@solarimpulse) April 24, 2016
Piccard, the medical doctor, explorer and aeronaut, who landed the plane on Saturday, wrote on the Solar Impulse 2 website, “If governments had the courage to promote clean technologies on a massive scale, our society could simultaneously reduce its dependence on fossil fuels, create jobs and stimulate sustainable growth.”
The Solar Impulse 2 is scheduled to make three stops in the U.S.
According to The Guardian, the plane, which is constructed from carbon-fibre, flies at approximately 28 mph and weighs close to 2.3 tons. The wingspan of the Solar Impulse 2 is broader than a Boeing 747 and the wings are outfitted with 17,000 solar cells. The Solar Impulse 2 is scheduled to make three stops in the U.S. then begin the journey across the Atlantic. Once over the Atlantic, the Solar Impulse 2 will stop in either Europe or North Africa. You can follow Solar Impulse 2’s journey around the world here.