A second generation solar-powered aeroplane with technology from Omega has crossed the Pacific Ocean, completing several world records.
The Solar Impulse 2 (Si2) is the first solar airplane capable of flying day and night without using a drop of fuel.
The plane left Hawaii on April 21 at 6:15 am local time (UTC-10) and landed at the Moffett Airfield on April 23 at 11:44 pm local time (UTC-7).
By attempting the first solar flight around the world, pushing back the boundaries of the possible, and taking on a project deemed impossible by industry experts, Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg want to support concrete actions for sustainability and show that the world can be run on clean technologies.
The world records, which are currently pending FAI approval, include distance, speed, duration and altitude in the solar airplane category.
Swiss watchmaker Omega is one of the project’s main partners, providing both capital funding and technology to the ecologically minded challenge that should advance the development of sustainable energy.
“Solar Impulse showcases that today exploration is no longer about conquering new territories, because even the moon has already been conquered, but about exploring new ways to have a better quality of life on earth,” said initiator and chairman of the project, Piccard. “It is more than an airplane: it is a concentration of clean technologies, a genuine flying laboratory, and illustrates that solutions exist today to meet the major challenges facing our society.”
“Solar Impulse is a demonstration of energy efficiency and smart energy management, similar to a flying grid. Just imagine your energy reserves increasing during flight and available day after day! This is what we may be doing in our communities, our cities and our countries. To have a decentralized renewable energy production, using solar, thermal, wind. To use efficient ways to store and manage energy, because the times at which we need it is not necessarily the times at which we produce it,” added André Borschberg, CEO and co-founder.
The flight from Hawaii to California was the ninth leg of the ‘Round-The-World Solar Flight’ that will continue onward to New York, Europe or North Africa and Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates where the adventure started in March 2015. By flying around the world with Si2, propelled solely by the energy of the sun, Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg are making history with clean technologies.
The Solar Impulse 2 features several improved technologies developed by Omega to make it more energy-efficient including lighter electronics, a lighter, more efficient landing light system, an upgraded lightweight version of the Omega Instrument – that displays the inclination of the aircraft – and an energy dispatcher which transfers energy from one engine to the other should the need arise.