Solar Impulse 2 plane lands in Egypt, penultimate stage of the round the world tour

Solar Impulse 2 plane lands in Egypt, penultimate stage of the round the world tour

The plane, powered exclusively by solar energy, landed in Egypt at 0710 (0510 GMT).

Sola Impulse 2 had taken off on Monday from Seville, where it had arrived on June 23, after having crossed the Atlantic Ocean for the first time.

The Solar Impulse 2 will take off in the next few days from Cairo to Abu Dhabi, the destination of the 17th and last stage of its world tour. In June, this plane went down in history by completing its first crossing of the Atlantic.

The aircraft landed at the Cairo airport to the applause of attendees and in the presence of the Egyptian Minister of Civil Aviation, Chérif Fathy.

The event was broadcast live on Egyptian television.

In total, the plane flew 3,745 kilometers, in 48 hours and 50 minutes, according to a statement.

Solar Impulse 2, which weighs 1.5 tonnes and is as wide as a Boeing 747, flies at an average speed of 50 km / h thanks to batteries that store solar energy captured by photovoltaic cells installed in the wings.

"It was fantastic, everything went very well", declared the Swiss André Borschberg, pilot during this penultimate stage, in conversation with the control center of the airplane in Monaco.

"I saw all the countries, Algeria, Tunisia, Italy," he said. "It was magnificent, I saw everything," insisted Borschberg who commanded Solar Impulse 2 flew over the famous Great Pyramid and Great Sphinx of Giza before landing in Cairo.

Borschberg was greeted by the applause of his team waiting for him at the airport, and upon arrival he hugged his compatriot Bertrand Piccard, with whom he has alternated piloting the Solar Impulse 2 for more than a year.

It will be Piccard who in the next few days will be in command of the plane for its last stage, in the direction of Abu Dhabi.

"We take 20-minute naps. We do exercises in the cabin, half an hour, in the morning and in the afternoon, otherwise after a few days we could not move our arms or legs," Piccard explained to the press at the Cairo airport .

"When you are several days in the air, you have the impression of being in a science fiction movie: you see the sun, the engines that run for days without fuel," he added. "It seems like a miracle but it is the reality today. This is what we can do with these new technologies."

During the trip around the world that Solar Impulse 2 undertook 16 months ago, it stopped in Muscat (Omaán), Ahmedabad and Varanasi (India), Mandalay (Burma), Chongqing and Nanjing (China), Nagoya (Japan) and Hawaii (USA) .

In Hawaii, he had to make a long technical stopover of almost 10 months to fix batteries, damaged in the first stage of his flight over the Pacific, which lasted five days between Nagoya and the US archipelago.

Following the repair, Solar Impulse 2 flew from Hawaii to the United States, where it made stops in San Francisco, Phoenix, Tulsa, Dayton, Lehigh Valley and New York.

On Monday, June 20, the solar plane took off for Seville, where it arrived after 71 hours and 8 minutes of solo flight without interruption.

News Information

Video: Solar Impulse Airplane - Construction of Solar Impulse 2 (September 2021).