Solar powered Si2, piloted by Andre Borschberg of Switzerland first reached Muscat, Oman from Abu Dhabi. Bertrand Piccard pilots the journey from Muscat to Ahmedabad. Si2 will land at Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport on Tuesday and will make a stop in the city to demonstrate its green and clean facilities. following this, Solar powered Si2 will head to Varanasi before its onward journey to Myanmar.
Monitored via live video streaming, Solar powered Si2 journey progresses without burning a drop of fuel. Today Solar powered Si2 entered Pakistani airspace at 27,000 ft. With a wing span slightly larger than that of a jumbo jet, its weight equals a family car. The journey will be spread over five months with total flight time of 25 days. After crossing the Arabian Sea to reach India, Solar powered Si2 will take to the skies enroute to Myanmar, China, Hawaii and New York.
Tested by Borschberg and Swiss pilot Bertrand Piccard, the longest stretch of flying time, covering a distance of distance of 8,500 kms will be a five day nonstop flight across the Pacific Ocean from Nanjing, China and Hawaii. Pilots have been put through extensive training ahead of this arduous journey and have even been given instructions in yoga and self hypnosis allowing then to take 20 minute naps and waking up refreshed. The plane is made of carbon fiber and is powered by over 17,000 solar cells situated in its wings. The propeller craft has four 17.5 hp electric motors and rechargeable lithium batteries.
Solar powered Si2 will be tracked by 65 weathermen at the Control Centre in Monaco besides air traffic controllers and engineers. 65 support staff will also accompany both pilots.