Landing in Abu Dhabi at 4 in the morning Solar Impulse completed its round the world flight powered only by the sun, breaking records all the way, including the longest duration flight and the first circumnavigation of the globe powered only by the sun.
During the final hours of the flight Pilot and CoFounder Bertrand Piccard spoke with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Ki-Moon stated, "Solar Impulse has flown more than 40,000 kilometers without fuel but with an inexhaustible supply of energy and inspiration. This is a historic day for Captain Piccard and the Solar Impulse team, but it is also a historic day for humanity," said the UN Secretary-General. "You may be ending your around the world flight today, but the journey to a more sustainable world is just beginning. The Solar Impulse team is helping to pilot us to that future."
The journey began on March 9, 2015, making stops along the way to showcase the technologies used in the plane and showing local leaders, children and curious people what’s possible with solar power. In all the ultralight, one-seater flew for a period of 23 days over 17-legs, including Pilot and CoFounder André Borschberg’s flight across the Pacific Ocean from Japan to Hawaii, which took five consecutive days and nights becoming the longest duration solo flight by a manned plane ever.
“Flying one leg with a completely new type of airplane is difficult enough, but flying around the world is a real challenge. More than a demonstration, it’s the confirmation that these technologies are truly dependable and reliable,” asserted Borschberg.
“This is not only a first in the history of aviation; it’s before all a first in the history of energy. I’m sure that within 10 years we’ll see electric airplanes transporting 50 passengers on short to medium haul flights,” Piccard said.
Following the completion of the historic flight Piccard and Borschberg plan to continue to promote use of solar power and renewable energy. Among other things they created the International Committee for Clean Technologies to help leverage their expertise gained throughout the Solar Impulse project as well their knowledge about the technologies used.
“The same clean technologies used on Solar Impulse could be implemented on the ground in our daily life to divide by two the CO2 emissions in a profitable way. Solar Impulse is only the beginning, now take it further!,” Piccard said during the remaining hours of the final flight.Tweet