3 ISSUES FOR JUST £3 Subscribe to Pilot Magazine today click here

Solar Impulse: An around-the-world flight

PUBLISHED: 10:35 29 April 2016 | UPDATED: 10:35 29 April 2016

Solar Impulse flying over Dubai ©Solar Impulse

Solar Impulse flying over Dubai ©Solar Impulse

Archant

Two Pioneering pilots flying around the world in a solar aeroplane, in order to promote the use of clean technologies. We’re showing their amazing journey from start to finish through a series of amazing photographs taken by the pilots and ground crew along the way.

Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg, set out to achieve something that still sounds like the stuff of dreams: the First Round-The-World Solar Flight, powered only by the sun, with no fuel – yes, no fuel - or polluting emissions.

1st Leg: Abu Dhabi to Muscat ©Solar Impulse1st Leg: Abu Dhabi to Muscat ©Solar Impulse

1st Leg: Abu Dhabi to Muscat ©Solar Impulse1st Leg: Abu Dhabi to Muscat ©Solar Impulse

After the eight world records set by the Solar Impulse prototype, when it became the first solar airplane ever to fly through the night, between two continents, and across the United States, Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg are now attempting the ultimate phase of the adventure: the 2015-2016 First Round-The-World Solar Flight.

1st Leg: Abu Dhabi to Muscat ©Solar Impulse1st Leg: Abu Dhabi to Muscat ©Solar Impulse

1st Leg: Abu Dhabi to Muscat ©Solar Impulse1st Leg: Abu Dhabi to Muscat ©Solar Impulse

35,000 km from Abu Dhabi, our departure and arrival Host City, to India, Myanmar, China, Japan, U.S.A and back to Europe and Abu Dhabi. As with all great firsts, there were no benchmarks. Strategies had to be invented from scratch to allow Solar Impulse 2 to fly across the Pacific for 5 consecutive days and nights, and become the first solar airplane to accomplish an oceanic crossing. This historic and record-breaking flight from Japan to Hawaii was achieved by André Borschberg in July 2015, proving that clean technologies can accomplish incredible things.

1st Leg: Abu Dhabi to Muscat ©Solar Impulse1st Leg: Abu Dhabi to Muscat ©Solar Impulse

2nd Leg: Muscat to Ahmedabad ©Solar Impulse2nd Leg: Muscat to Ahmedabad ©Solar Impulse

The record breaking solo flight of 5 days and 5 nights without fuel from Nagoya to Hawaii presents a clear message: everybody could use the plane’s technologies on the ground to halve our world’s energy consumption, save natural resources and improve our quality of life. The success of this flight is helping to spread the message to the general public, students, key decision-makers and entrepreneurs all over the world.

2nd Leg: Muscat to Ahmedabad ©Solar Impulse2nd Leg: Muscat to Ahmedabad ©Solar Impulse

2nd Leg: Muscat to Ahmedabad ©Solar Impulse2nd Leg: Muscat to Ahmedabad ©Solar Impulse

Clean technologies can achieve the impossible.

2nd Leg: Muscat to Ahmedabad ©Solar Impulse2nd Leg: Muscat to Ahmedabad ©Solar Impulse

3rd Leg: Ahmedabad to Varanasi ©Solar Impulse3rd Leg: Ahmedabad to Varanasi ©Solar Impulse

3rd Leg: Ahmedabad to Varanasi ©Solar Impulse3rd Leg: Ahmedabad to Varanasi ©Solar Impulse

3rd Leg: Ahmedabad to Varanasi ©Solar Impulse3rd Leg: Ahmedabad to Varanasi ©Solar Impulse

4th Leg: Varanasi to Mandalay ©Solar Impulse4th Leg: Varanasi to Mandalay ©Solar Impulse

4th Leg: Varanasi to Mandalay ©Solar Impulse4th Leg: Varanasi to Mandalay ©Solar Impulse

4th Leg: Varanasi to Mandalay ©Solar Impulse4th Leg: Varanasi to Mandalay ©Solar Impulse

4th Leg: Varanasi to Mandalay ©Solar Impulse4th Leg: Varanasi to Mandalay ©Solar Impulse

5th Leg: Mandalay to Chongqing ©Solar Impulse5th Leg: Mandalay to Chongqing ©Solar Impulse

5th Leg: Mandalay to Chongqing ©Solar Impulse5th Leg: Mandalay to Chongqing ©Solar Impulse

5th Leg: Mandalay to Chongqing ©Solar Impulse5th Leg: Mandalay to Chongqing ©Solar Impulse

5th Leg: Mandalay to Chongqing ©Solar Impulse5th Leg: Mandalay to Chongqing ©Solar Impulse

5th Leg: Mandalay to Chongqing ©Solar Impulse5th Leg: Mandalay to Chongqing ©Solar Impulse

5th Leg: Mandalay to Chongqing ©Solar Impulse5th Leg: Mandalay to Chongqing ©Solar Impulse

6th Leg: Chongqing to Nanjing ©Solar Impulse6th Leg: Chongqing to Nanjing ©Solar Impulse

6th Leg: Chongqing to Nanjing ©Solar Impulse6th Leg: Chongqing to Nanjing ©Solar Impulse

6th Leg: Chongqing to Nanjing ©Solar Impulse6th Leg: Chongqing to Nanjing ©Solar Impulse

6th Leg: Chongqing to Nanjing ©Solar Impulse6th Leg: Chongqing to Nanjing ©Solar Impulse

6th Leg: Chongqing to Nanjing ©Solar Impulse6th Leg: Chongqing to Nanjing ©Solar Impulse

7th Leg: Nanjing to Nagoya (diverted to Japan due to bad weather) ©Solar Impulse7th Leg: Nanjing to Nagoya (diverted to Japan due to bad weather) ©Solar Impulse

7th Leg: Nanjing to Nagoya (diverted to Japan due to bad weather) ©Solar Impulse7th Leg: Nanjing to Nagoya (diverted to Japan due to bad weather) ©Solar Impulse

7th Leg: Nanjing to Nagoya (diverted to Japan because of bad weather) ©Solar Impulse7th Leg: Nanjing to Nagoya (diverted to Japan because of bad weather) ©Solar Impulse

Solar Impulse tied down by ground crew after unexpected intermediate landing in Japan due to worsening weather ©Solar ImpulseSolar Impulse tied down by ground crew after unexpected intermediate landing in Japan due to worsening weather ©Solar Impulse

Press Conference in Japan ©Solar ImpulsePress Conference in Japan ©Solar Impulse

Press Conference in Japan ©Solar ImpulsePress Conference in Japan ©Solar Impulse

Press Conference in Japan ©Solar ImpulsePress Conference in Japan ©Solar Impulse

Repair work in Nagoya ©Solar ImpulseRepair work in Nagoya ©Solar Impulse

Repair work in Nagoya ©Solar ImpulseRepair work in Nagoya ©Solar Impulse

8th Leg: Nagoya to Hawaii ©Solar Impulse8th Leg: Nagoya to Hawaii ©Solar Impulse

7th Leg: Nanjing to Nagoya ©Solar Impulse7th Leg: Nanjing to Nagoya ©Solar Impulse

8th Leg: Nagoya to Hawaii ©Solar Impulse8th Leg: Nagoya to Hawaii ©Solar Impulse

8th Leg: Nagoya to Hawaii ©Solar Impulse8th Leg: Nagoya to Hawaii ©Solar Impulse

8th Leg: Nagoya to Hawaii ©Solar Impulse8th Leg: Nagoya to Hawaii ©Solar Impulse

8th Leg: Nagoya to Hawaii ©Solar Impulse8th Leg: Nagoya to Hawaii ©Solar Impulse

8th Leg: Nagoya to Hawaii ©Solar Impulse8th Leg: Nagoya to Hawaii ©Solar Impulse

8th Leg: Nagoya to Hawaii ©Solar Impulse8th Leg: Nagoya to Hawaii ©Solar Impulse

8th Leg: Nagoya to Hawaii ©Solar Impulse8th Leg: Nagoya to Hawaii ©Solar Impulse

8th Leg: Nagoya to Hawaii ©Solar Impulse8th Leg: Nagoya to Hawaii ©Solar Impulse

9th Leg: Hawaii to Mountain View ©Solar Impulse9th Leg: Hawaii to Mountain View ©Solar Impulse

9th Leg: Hawaii to Mountain View ©Solar Impulse9th Leg: Hawaii to Mountain View ©Solar Impulse

9th Leg: Hawaii to Mountain View ©Solar Impulse9th Leg: Hawaii to Mountain View ©Solar Impulse

9th Leg: Hawaii to Mountain View ©Solar Impulse9th Leg: Hawaii to Mountain View ©Solar Impulse

9th Leg: Hawaii to Mountain View ©Solar Impulse9th Leg: Hawaii to Mountain View ©Solar Impulse

9th Leg: Hawaii to Mountain View ©Solar Impulse9th Leg: Hawaii to Mountain View ©Solar Impulse

9th Leg: Hawaii to Mountain View ©Solar Impulse9th Leg: Hawaii to Mountain View ©Solar Impulse

9th Leg: Hawaii to Mountain View ©Solar Impulse9th Leg: Hawaii to Mountain View ©Solar Impulse

More from Features

Tue, 17:14

How air-brained are you? Test your general aviation knowledge on matters including safety, history, training or anything related to flying! Compiled by James Allan

Read more
Mon, 17:28

I see you… But do you see me? Part two of our series on electronic conspicuity focuses on the capabilities – and compatibility – of the existing technology

Read more
Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Tourer and tug − just two of the many uses to which the remarkable and long-lived DR400 design has been put | Words: Dave Unwin – Photos: Keith Wilson

Read more
Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Due to popular demand British Aerobatics is delighted to announce its second lottery draw to win a flight in a Spitfire

Read more
Monday, September 3, 2018

It may not be funky but this almost completely original small aircraft is agile and offers a glimpse into the past | Words: Bob Davy - Photos: Keith Wilson

Read more
Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Well-funded Dutch company PAL-V has come up with a new concept for a carefully targeted kind of customer – the car that converts into an autogyro | Words: Colin Goodwin - Photos: Philip Whiteman

Read more
Friday, August 24, 2018

Only my second visit, a frisky Learjet, and snow ‘patches’ on the runway – what fun we could have! | By Linton Chilcott

Read more
Friday, August 17, 2018

A close encounter with an autogyro in the frozen Russian countryside rekindles a passion for all things aviation | Words & photos: Celeste Goschen

Read more
Tuesday, August 14, 2018

How air-brained are you? Test your general aviation knowledge on matters including safety, history, training or anything related to flying! Compiled by James Allan

Read more
Friday, August 10, 2018

The long-awaited 505 does what it says on the tin – more simply, quicker and better than the much-loved JetRanger. What’s not to like? | Words Pat Malone - Photos Philip Whiteman

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Pilot weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most Read


Subscribe or buy Pilot Magazine