RT News: Solar-powered plane sets solo flight world record

Solar Impulse2, a solar powered plane piloted by Swiss Andre Borschberg, approaching Kalaeloa Airport, O’ahu, Hawaii, finishing the 8674 Kilometer long flight from Nagoya, Japan with an 118 hours record flight.

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His colleague and tag-team copilot on the venture, Piccard expressed elation over the arrival of aircraft and pilot. “But I never had doubts that @andreborschberg could make it!” he wrote on Twitter.

Later in the morning, Borschberg called the flight an extraordinary experience, saying it marked historical firsts for aviation and for renewable energy. It is also the riskiest because the plane has nowhere to land in an emergency.

HONOLULU (AP) — An airplane powered by the sun is scheduled to land in Hawaii after a five-day journey over the Pacific Ocean. “So much good feeling”, he said after finally rising, to cheers from the crowd, and exiting the cockpit.

“Global implementation of clean technology similar to those which are used in Solar Impulse 2, would already today allow to divide by two the energy consumption and the Carbon dioxide emissions of our world, thanks to energy efficiency in ground mobility, buildings, industrial processes, as well as in lighting, cooling and heating systems”.

The record shattered the distance and duration world records for manned solar-powered planes – set by Solar Impulse itself earlier on the project.

“After the longest and most tiring night of this flight, bringing the pilot and aircraft to the limits, Andre is now back under the oceanic sunlight”, mission organisers said.

The previous record was set by American Steve Fossett in 2006 for a non-stop flight that lasted around 76 hours.

Fellow pioneering aviator and rival Richard Branson tweeted his congratulations to Borschberg just before his competitor touched down.

André Borschberg is still enduring human, technical and operational challenges, navigating the high tech flying laboratory alone in an unheated and unpressurised 3.8 cubic meter cockpit.

The experimental solar-powered aircraft left Japan around 6pm GMT (11:30pm IST) on Sunday the early hours of Monday local time after spending a month in the central city of Nagoya.

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Solar Impulse 2, which uses no fuel, is on a round-the-world journey which started in Abu Dhabi in March. He, along with fellow explorer Bertrand Piccard, is trying to circumnavigate the globe on a plane powered by over 17,000 photovoltaic cells located on its wings and tail, which provide the energy for its four propellers and recharge the plane’s batteries by day.

Solar Impulse 2 a plane powered by the sun's rays and piloted by Andre Borschberg approaches Kalaeloa Airport near Honolulu Friday