After the Solar Impulse prototype’s 8 world records, when it became the first solar air plane ever to fly through the night, between two continents and across the United States, it is time for Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg to move on to the ultimate phase of the adventure: the 2015 round-the-world flight. Solar Impulse 2 was built to take up that challenge. It is a solar airplane with a gigantic wingspan. A real airborne technology lab with virtually endless endurance is capable of crossing oceans and continents by remaining in the air for several days and nights in a row.
Two pioneers and innovators, both pilots, came together to drive forward Solar Impulses: Bertrand Piccard, a doctor, psychiatrist, aeronaut and explorer who made the first ever non-stop round-the-world balloon flight, is its initiator and chairman. Andre Borschberg, an engineer and graduate in management science, a trained fighter pilot and professional airplane and helicopter pilot, is co-founder and CEO. The former’s avant-garde vision and skills as a communicator and the latter’s entrepreneurial and managerial experience complement each other ideally.
The first round-the-world solar-powered flight is scheduled to start in March 2015 from the Gulf area. Solar impulse will fly, in order, over the Arabian Sea, India, Myanmar, China, the Pacific Ocean, the United States, the Atlantic Ocean and southern Europe or North Africa, before closing the loop by returning to the point of departure. Landing will be made every few days to change pilots and organize public events for governments, schools and universities.
The solar-powered plane is projected to arrive in Myanmar in the first or second week of March 2015. During its stay in Myanmar it will fly over Bagan, international renowned archaeological site with the help of a helicopter of the Ministry of Transport. There will be photo shots during the flying in which the best photo will be chosen for handsome prize. There will also be a press conference at the Tada-U International Airport (Mandalay) where the airplane is going to be staying overnight so that local people including students of basic education schools and universities can observe and witness it.
By Kyaw The-ein (MNA)