Abu Dhabi will become the arrival and departure point for a new type of aircraft this year, as a solar powered plane gets set to travel the globe without using a drop of fuel.
Solar Impulse 2 (Si2) is the first solar-powered plane in the world that is able to fly day and night. The plane stores energy from the sun in lithium ion batteries which allows it to fly at night. The aircraft is due to depart on a 35,000km international journey late February/early March this year.
Host partner Masdar – the capital’s renewable energy company – along with Swiss co-founders and pilots of Si2 Bertand Piccard and André Borschberg, announced the scheduled flight route, which includes 12 locations across the globe.
After leaving Abu Dhabi, Si2 will make stops in the Middle East – including Muscat, Oman – followed by India and China. After crossing the Pacific Ocean via Hawaii, Si2 will fly over the US landing in three locations – Phoenix, Arizona; New York City, and a third destination in the midwest which is yet to be confirmed. The aircraft will then cross the Atlantic before arriving in southern Europe or North Africa – weather dependent – before embarking on the final leg back to Abu Dhabi in late July/early August 2015.
HE Dr Sultan Al Jaber, UAE minister of state and chairman of Masdar, said: “Masdar and Abu Dhabi are proud to host the departure, and hopefully safe arrival, of Solar Impulse and its pilots, as they dare to fly around the world using only the power of the sun.
“Solar Impulse is a demonstration to prove the impossible can be possible, and that innovation knows no boundaries.” For more information visit: www.solarimpulse.com