Solar Impulse 2 completes five-day flight from Japan to Hawaii

André Borschberg pilots the composites-intensive Solar Impulse 2 non-stop from Japan to Hawaii on the longest leg of the plane's around-the-world tour.

Solar Impulse (Lausanne, Switzerland) completed on July 3 the longest and most difficult leg of its Round the World Solar Flight as André Borschberg successfully piloted the composites-intensive, solar-powered Solar Impulse 2 aircraft non-stop over five days and nights from Nagoya, Japan, to Hawaii. Borschberg landed safely in Hawaii after flying 117 hours and 52 minutes over the Pacific Ocean from Japan powered only by the sun.

Borschberg, also co-founder of Solar Impulse with Bertrand Piccard, broke the world records of distance and duration for solar aviation, as well as the world record for the longest solo flight ever, (117:52 hours and around 7,200 km). These world records will be ratified upon landing by the International Aeronautical Federation.

Borschberg endured many challenges requiring him to carefully maintain a balance between wearing an oxygen mask for long stretches of time during high altitude, getting enough rest and maximizing the energy levels of the plane, particularly during turbulent weather conditions. 

“I feel exhilarated by this extraordinary journey. I have climbed the equivalent altitude of Mount Everest five times without much rest. The team at the Mission Control Center in Monaco (MCC) was my eyes and my ears... The MCC was battling to give me the possibility to rest and recover, but also maximizing the aircraft’s energy levels and sending me trajectories and flight strategies simulated by computer," said Borschberg. "This successfully validates the vision that my partner Bertrand Piccard had after his round-the-world balloon flight to reach unlimited endurance in an airplane without fuel."

Bertrand Piccard will fly from Hawii to Phoenix, AZ, US, for the next leg of the Round-The-World attempt before the mission continues onward to New York, Europe and Abu Dhabi, where it all started.

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