Solar Impulse 2 departs Mandalay for Chongqing

Local authorities see off Solar Impulse-2 at Mandalay International Airport.—MNA
Local authorities see off Solar Impulse-2 at Mandalay International Airport.—MNA

Mandalay, 30 March — Solar Impulse 2, the first aircraft of a solar-powered round-the-world flight, left  from Mandalay for Chongqing, China, at 3:30 am local time on March 30 after a 12-day visit in the Myanmar ancient capital.
Inappropriate weather conditions made the aircraft’s departure delayed, according to a press statement from Masdar, the departure and arrival host partner of the first Round-The-World Solar Flight.
The aircraft departed from Abu Dhabi on March 9th for Muscat, Oman, and departed the following day. It arrived in Ahmedabad, India on March 10th. Following a brief stop in Varanasi, India, Solar Impulse took off for Mandalay, Myanmar on March 19th with Chairman Bertrand Piccard in the cockpit.
Following its stop in Chongqing, Solar Impulse will continue its journey eastward, landing in Nanjing, China, prior to crossing the Pacific Ocean via Hawaii. Si2 will then fly across the continental United States, stopping in three locations, including Phoenix and New York City at JFK International Airport. A location in the Midwest will be decided dependent on weather conditions. After crossing the Atlantic, the journey’s final legs include a stop-over in Southern Europe or North Africa before arriving back in its host city, Abu Dhabi.
Before leaving Mandalay International Airport, the two pilots were seen off by U Ye Myint, chief minister of Mandalay region and local authorities.
The single-seater aircraft spent more than a week waiting in Mandalay for a sound weather conditions. The aircraft, which has more than 17,000 solar cells built into its wings, hopes to promote green energy with its circumnavigation attempt.
It has to fly at an altitude of 28,00 feet to be able to absorb sun in the daytime and at 5000 feet above sea-level
of the oceans.
Mandalay will mark the completion of the fifth leg of Solar Impulse’s five-month 35,000 km mission. It will stay in China for a month. After an expected one-day pit stop in Chongqing, the team will proceed to Nanjing – the sixth leg of their historic journey without using fuel energy for the aircraft built in Switzerland.—MNA

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