Will Solar Impulse become the first solar powered plane to fly round the world? There is a good chance it will be, as it has already reached China.
The fuel free aeroplane left Abu Dhabi about 3 weeks ago on it mission and has now landed in Chongqing in China, after successfully completing the 5th leg of the trip.
The pilot, Bertrand Piccard, reported a challenging landing in China 20 hours after having set out from Mandalay in Myanmar. The 20 hour leg ended with strong winds causing a few nervous moments as the plane touched down in China.
Bad Weather Delays the Next Leg
The idea had been for a very brief stop in Chongqing but bad weather has meant that the revolutionary plane will need to spend more time there. The official Solar Impulse site says that it won’t be setting off again until at least the 9th of April.
The next part of the journey will involve getting to Nanjing in China before heading off on the 5 days flight to Hawaii. There are a total of 12 legs planned for the round the world adventure.
Two world records have already been set by the solar powered plane. First of all, the 1,458km covered between Muscat, Oman and Ahmadabad in India is the longest ever flown in a single trip in this type of machine.
The second world record was set when the plane reached a groundspeed of 117 knots (135mph) in the leg between Varanasi in India and Mandalay.
Do you think solar powered aeroplanes could be the future of travelling?