Swiss pioneers Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg, soared across the skies of Abu Dhabi on Solar Impulse 2 (Si2) yesterday.
The revolutionary single-seater sustainable aircraft will attempt the solar-powered flight around the world beginning this March from Abu Dhabi.
Si2, the first airplane able to fly day and night without a drop of fuel, has successfully completed its maiden flight in the USE’s capital.
“These first test flights in Abu Dhabi are an important stage a step closer towards the impending round-the-world solar flight attempt. I am elated to report that the planes performance is on par with our initial simulations,” said Borschberg, Solar Impulse Co-founder, CEO and pilot.
“Solar Impulse 2’s first test flights in Abu Dhabi mark a major milestone in the plane’s preparation for its historic attempt to fly around the world,” said Nawal Al-Hosany, Director of Sustainability for Masdar.
The purpose of these first test flights in Abu Dhabi was to test the aircraft’s performance and viability in a new environment with varied weather conditions.
There are several additional test flights scheduled for the coming week in order for the team and the aircraft to prepare to circumnavigate the world.
Si2 is scheduled to stop in 12 locations, including layovers in India, China, Hawaii, New York and southern Europe or North Africa, before returning to Abu Dhabi.
Travelling at speeds between 50-100 kmph, the journey will take about 25 days of flight spread over five months.