Solar Impulse Completes Historic Trip Around the World
On Saturday, Bertrand Piccard—one of two pilots to take turns guiding the plane—took off from Cairo on the final leg of the journey that began in March of last year. Originally planned to take only a few months, Solar Impulse was waylaid in Hawaii for some time after the aircraft was damaged.
The solar-powered aircraft landed in Abu Dhabi on Monday.
Despite the delays—also frequent because of challenges with finding the right weather, especially for trans-ocean crossings—the mission has been completed. More than a sneak peek at the future of air flight, Solar Impulse is instead a statement about the potential of energy that is not reliant on fossil fuels.
Some 16 months after takeoff, here is a look at the many places around the world that Piccard and André Borschberg took the solar plane.
Abu Dhabi, UAE
Solar Impulse departed March 9, 2015, to return about 16 months later in July 2016.
Solar Impulse in Muscat, Oman, on March 10, 2015.
Solar Impulse lights up the night's sky at Ahmedabad airport, in India, on March 10, 2015.
At Mandalay International Airport, on March 30, 2015.
At Chongqing airport on April 23, 2015.
On April 20, 2015, Solar Impulse left Chongqing on its way to Nanjing, China, where it landed on April 21, 2015.
Solar Impulse passed over Oahu, Hawaii, on April 21, 2016. The aircraft was damaged in Hawaii, leading to an unexpected delay that extended the round-the-world trip to almost a year and a half. Solar Impulse arrived in Hawaii on July 3, 2015.
San Francisco, California
On April 24, 2016, the aircraft landed in San Francisco after a three-day flight from Hawaii.
Taking off from the Tulsa airport on May 21, 2016.
New York City, New York
Solar Impulse made two passes over the Statue of Liberty, in New York City.
Solar Impulse arrived in Seville, June 23, 2016, after making a three-day trip over the Atlantic Ocean from New York City. When Solar Impulse flies for extended periods of time, the plane must gather more solar energy from its panels than it expends.
Flying high over the pyramids in Giza, on July 13, 2016, when the aircraft landed in Cairo, Egypt.