8 memorable milestones of the first solar-powered flight around-the-world

July 26, 2016 by  
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The Solar Impulse project began in Switzerland in 2003, when Bertrand Piccard—a veteran balloonist and also a psychiatrist—began designing and building a one-man airplane that could fly without fossil fuels, using only the sun’s energy. After five years of development, Piccard joined forces with Swiss pilot and businessman André Borschberg to finish the aircraft and help organize the project to circumnavigate the globe in their experimental solar-powered plane. The first version of the plane, Solar Impulse 1, became the first solar-powered aircraft to fly for 26 consecutive hours, as well as the first to cross two continents. Solar Impulse 2 would blow those records out of the water, if not out of this world. Leg 1: The adventure begins in Abu Dhabi The experimental aircraft began its round-the-world solar-powered journey on March 9, 2015 lifting off from Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. From there, Borschberg piloted Solar Impulse 2 in the early morning hours for what would be a relatively short flight in comparison to other legs of the journey. He flew 13 hours and 1 minute before touching down in Muscat, Oman for the first scheduled stop of the journey that would ultimately take more than a year to complete. Related: Zero fuel Solar Impulse 2 takes off on world’s first round-the-world flight powered entirely by sunlight Leg 3: Longest solar-powered flight in aviation history The 15-hour, 20-minute flight from Oman to Ahmedabad, India on March 18, 2015 marked the first of many world records on the Solar Impulse journey. With Piccard in the cockpit, the experimental aircraft flew longer than any other solar-powered plane had before that date. This set an exciting precedent for the project early in the RTW adventure, as the SI2 would beat its own record several times over before landing back at its starting point more than a year later. Leg 7: Unscheduled landing in Japan After multiple weather-related delays, SI2 took off from Nanjing, China on May 31, 2015 with Borschberg in the cramped cockpit and headed east toward Hawaii. However, it soon became apparent that the chosen route for the longest leg of the round-the-world trip was not meant to be. The poor weather forecast forced the ground team to scramble to make arrangements for Borschberg to detour the aircraft for an unscheduled landing in Nagoya, Japan. The plane was grounded for several weeks while the crews waited for the weather forecast to improve. Solar Impulse 2 was finally cleared for take off again on June 28. Related: Solar Impulse could be grounded for a whole year in Japan Leg 8: Pacific Ocean crossing The longest leg of the round-the-world journey also marked two of the most significant world records for the project: the longest continuous flight by a solar-powered aircraft as well as the longest solo flight in aviation history . Borschberg piloted the SI2 on the 117-hour, 52-minute flight, covering the 4,819 nautical miles between Nagoya, Japan and Oahu, Hawaii. To endure such a long flight in a cramped cockpit, the pilot employed yoga and meditation techniques to encourage circulation in his extremities. After the first 24 hours of the flight, he was also able to take 20-minute catnaps while the plane’s autopilot system kept it on course. As Borschberg landed in the plane in Hawaii on July 3, 2015, thousands of viewers around the world watched the live streaming webcast on the Solar Impulse website. Leg 9: Grounded in Hawaii Although the record-setting longest flight went smoothly, the SI2 had to be grounded after landing in Hawaii due to an overheated battery. As experimental aircraft go, SI2 encountered relatively few technical difficulties along its journey, but this one was a show-stopper. Once ground crews examined the battery, it was determined that the best course of action for the project was to put the journey on hold until replacement batteries could be produced and tested to ensure subsequent flights would be safe. Testing on the new batteries began in early February 2016, and the plane was finally cleared for takeoff in April, and Piccard flew the airplane to California without further incident. Leg 14: SI2’s shortest flight Lasting a mere four hours and 41 minutes, the 14th leg of the solar-powered flight was the shortest by far. After making several stops in its eastbound journey across the continental United States, Solar Impulse 2 took off from Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania on June 11 and touched down just a few hours later at its final U.S. destination: New York City’s JFK Airport . A remarkable milestone, SI2 flew over the Statue of Liberty during its approach to the airport, creating an iconic image that represents the ability of clean energy to grant freedom from dirty fossil fuels. Leg 15: Crossing the Atlantic Ocean Flying a 100-percent solar-powered airplane across the Atlantic Ocean was perhaps an easier feat than the Pacific crossing, but secured Solar Impulse 2 yet another world first record. Piccard took off in the early morning hours of June 20—the longest day of the year—from NYC’s JFK airport and successfully flew for 71 hours and eight minutes, landing in Seville, Spain on June 23. Leg 17: Back to Abu Dhabi When Piccard landed SI2 in Abu Dhabi on July 26 , a few things happened. First and foremost, the team nabbed a major victory in achieving the goal of flying a solar-powered airplane around the world. Secondly, Solar Impulse 2 secured an esteemed place in clean energy history, proving the awesome potential of solar power and, with any luck, inspiring engineers around the world to discover new innovations in renewable energy applications. The final leg of SI2’s circumnavigation was a tricky one, occurring during one of the most intense heat waves the world has seen in recent decades. Weather patterns forced Piccard to fly in a holding pattern soon after take off, lengthening the expected 40-hour flight to a final duration of 48 hours and 37 minutes. Although the journey’s last leg was one of the shorter flights, the obstacles only served to enhance the anticipation as the solar-powered electric airplane zeroed in on its ultimate goal: a 26,744-mile trip around the world without fossil fuels. This won’t be the last we hear from Piccard, Borschberg, and the rest of the Solar Impulse support team. A plan has already been discussed to use SI2’s proven technology to create solar-powered drones , and nobody would be surprised if a Solar Impulse 3 were to emerge in the coming years as a bigger, better version of the sun-powered airplane. For now, the pilots will celebrate this enormous victory for clean energy, and perhaps take a little time off after spending so many hours in the SI2’s cramped cockpit. + Solar Impulse Lead image via Abu Dhabi Government , all other images via Solar Impulse

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8 memorable milestones of the first solar-powered flight around-the-world

Solar Impulse successfully completes solar-powered flight around the world

July 26, 2016 by  
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Today, Solar Impulse 2 completed its epic round-the-world journey, powered only by the sun’s energy. Swiss pilot and initiator Bertrand Piccard landed the experimental solar-powered aircraft in Abu Dhabi after 48 hours in flight from Cairo, Egypt—the 17th and final leg of an adventure that began more than a year ago. Taking turns piloting each leg of the journey, Piccard and SI co-founder André Borschberg have bagged numerous world records and a cumulative 558 hours of flight time to achieve their shared goal, all without burning a single drop of fossil fuel. Solar Impulse 2 took off from Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates on March 9, 2015, embarking on the first-ever solar-powered flight around the world. The pilots took turns, each flying a leg of the journey in the one-man lightweight airplane while the other rested after each arduous flight. Although the journey wasn’t without hiccups, including a months-long layover in Hawaii following a battery failure, the two pilots successfully and safely demonstrated the awesome power of solar energy, while spreading awareness and education along their flight path and, indeed, around the rest of the world. Related: Facebook’s solar-powered drone takes its first flight Ten days after Borschberg landed the 100-percent solar-powered plant in Cairo, Piccard climbed into the cockpit to prepare for the circumnavigation’s final leg. Solar Impulse 2 took off at 1:28am local time July 24, heading for Abu Dhabi . Before takeoff, Piccard shared thoughts about departing the city that marked the beginning and end of his 1999 round-the-world balloon flight. “It’s very emotional to take off from Egypt with SI2…” he said. “It’s precisely here that started my dream of making another circumnavigation, but this time without fuel, only on solar power. I’m excited to come so close to the goal, but unfortunately there are still so many people we have to motivate before having a world running on the same clean technologies.” Solar Impulse 2 landed safely in Abu Dhabi at 4:05 am local time on July 26, with an elapsed flight time of 48 hours and 37 minutes. The plane’s trip around the world took 23 days, covered 43,041 kilometers and set 19 world records (11 of which are pending ratification). Upon landing and exiting the cockpit, Piccard said: “This is not only a first in the history of aviation; it’s before all a first in the history of energy. I’m sure that within 10 years we’ll see electric airplanes transporting 50 passengers on short to medium haul flights. But it’s not enough. The same clean technologies used on Solar Impulse could be implemented on the ground in our daily life to divide by two the CO2 emissions in a profitable way. Solar Impulse is only the beginning, now take it further! ” + Solar Impulse Images via Solar Impulse

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Solar Impulse successfully completes solar-powered flight around the world

Handmade MPavilion will be the largest bamboo structure ever built in Australia

July 26, 2016 by  
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The 282-square-meter MPavilion 2016 designs have a rustic charm owing to its use of plant and earth-based materials. The roof and awning will be made of karvi panels, created from a mix of cow dung and earth, and will be supported by a 2.4-meter-high colonnade of bamboo columns. White lime daub will be applied to waterproof the structure. A 12-meter-tall tazia, an ornamental tower used in Indian ceremonies, will complement the structure and can be seen through the oculus in the suspended ceiling. Related: Amada Levete’s MPavilion is an LED-lit forest canopy that sways in the breeze “I wanted to create a space that connects the entire culture of the land. The tower or ‘tazia’ is an imaginary building that reaches deep into the stars, so it is otherworldly, and through it you can see the stars, the sky, other dimensions,” said Jain. “I want the MPavilion to be the scaffolding that provides a creative space that suspends visitors between earth, ground and sky.” Arup engineers and India-based Kane Construction will help Studio Mumbai oversee engineering and construction. MPavilion will serve as a cultural hub for a series of free talks in the Queen Victoria Gardens from October through February, after which it will be moved to its permanent home within Melbourne’s CBD. The building will take approximately 8 weeks to complete. + Studio Mumbai Images via Studio Mumbai and Nicholas Watt

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Handmade MPavilion will be the largest bamboo structure ever built in Australia

Solar Impulse launches five day trip across the Pacific Ocean toward Hawaii

June 29, 2015 by  
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x Last week we reported that the Solar Impulse 2 could be grounded for up to a year if the experimental solar-powered airplane missed its window to take off across the Pacific Ocean. When the June 23 attempt was canceled due to worsening weather forecasts, co-founder Bertrand Piccard lamented via live web feed about the difficulty of making flight decisions with the whole world watching. It was hardly surprising to hear the news, then, that Solar Impulse successfully took off early this morning from Nagoya, Japan. Pilot André Borschberg has embarked on a solo five-day, five-night flight to Hawaii with nothing but the sun to fuel the journey. Read the rest of Solar Impulse launches five day trip across the Pacific Ocean toward Hawaii Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “clean energy” , Andre Borschberg , bertrand piccard , futureisclean , nagoya japan , solar impulse , Solar Impulse 2 , solar powered aircraft , solar powered airplane , solar powered flight across pacific , solar powered round the world flight , Zero energy

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Solar Impulse launches five day trip across the Pacific Ocean toward Hawaii

Sun-powered Solar Impulse begins longest, most dangerous leg of round-the-world flight

May 31, 2015 by  
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Solar Impulse 2 , the solar-powered aircraft with room for only one person, lifted off from China at 2:39am local time May 31, beginning the five-day journey across the Pacific Ocean to Hawaii. This news comes three weeks after the original departure date , which was pushed back repeatedly as dangerous storms threatened the flightplan and the pilot’s safety. This is the seventh leg of the round-the-world journey for this experimental aircraft, which uses zero fossil fuels. The adventure began in Abu Dhabi on March 9, and is expected to culminate after twelve individual flights bring the Si2 back to its starting point, setting a number of world records along the way. Read the rest of Sun-powered Solar Impulse begins longest, most dangerous leg of round-the-world flight Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Andre Borschberg , bertrand piccard , round-the-world flight , si2 , solar impulse , solar powered aircraft , solar powered airplane , solar powered plane , Zero energy , zero fossil fuels

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Sun-powered Solar Impulse begins longest, most dangerous leg of round-the-world flight

Solar Impulse is gearing up for five-day solar-powered flight across the Pacific Ocean

May 5, 2015 by  
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Solar Impulse , the experimental solar-powered aircraft with just enough room for a pilot, is still on its way around the world, despite a number of delays due to poor weather conditions. The project has been grounded in Nanjing, China, since April 21 where they landed after a one-day flight following a three-week weather delay . The sun-powered plane was originally planned to embark on the five-day trans-Pacific journey on May 5, now delayed to at least May 9. André Borschberg , co-founder of Solar Impulse, will pilot the record-setting Pacific Ocean crossing as soon as conditions are favorable. Borschberg has been gearing up for the challenge by fine tuning his yoga and meditation techniques and become more comfortable in the cramped cockpit of the solar-powered aircraft. He’s also used his time on the ground to comb over the aircraft, making sure that everything is in tip-top condition for the five-day flight to Hawaii. Solar Impulse is traveling around the world, powered entirely by the sun, as an ambassador of the #FutureIsClean movement, a global effort to raise awareness for clean energy. + Solar Impulse Images via Solar Impulse Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “clean energy” , Andre Borschberg , around-the-world trips , bertrand piccard , china , flying across pacific , flying around the world , futureisclean , solar impulse , solar powered aircraft , solar powered airplane , solar powered flight across pacific ocean , solar powered plane , zero fuel plane , zero fuel vehicles

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Solar Impulse is gearing up for five-day solar-powered flight across the Pacific Ocean

Solar Impulse Completes Final Test Flight Over San Francisco Before its Sun-Powered Journey Across America

April 25, 2013 by  
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The Solar Impulse just completed its final test flight before it travels across the U.S. without using a single drop of fuel. The plane spent most of yesterday cruising around 3,500 feet over the San Francisco Bay, giving many people a chance to see the giant solar aircraft in action. The “ Cross America 2013 ” tour is scheduled to kick off next Wednesday, May 1st, when Solar Impulse co-founder and pilot Bertrand Piccard embarks upon the first leg of the journey from San Francisco to New York. Read the rest of Solar Impulse Completes Final Test Flight Over San Francisco Before its Sun-Powered Journey Across America Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “solar energy” , bertrand piccard , energy efficient plane , fuel-free airplane , lightweight airplane , renewable energy sources , solar impulse , Solar Impulse Cross America 2013 , Solar Impulse HB-SIA , solar panels , solar powered aircraft , solar powered plane        

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Solar Impulse Completes Final Test Flight Over San Francisco Before its Sun-Powered Journey Across America

Solar Impulse Team to Attempt First Ever Solar-Powered Cross-U.S.A Flight in History

December 12, 2012 by  
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Flights across the U.S. have become somewhat mundane since Calbraith Perry Rodgers completed the first one ever back in 1911, but now a new group of aviation pioneers wants to take on the same feat with a decidedly more difficult twist thrown in – they can’t use any fuel except for the power of the sun. The Solar Impulse team, led by Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg, announced tonight that it will be taking its solar-powered plane to the skies this summer on a transcontinental flight from San Franscisco to New York. If successful, the trip would be the first solar-powered, cross-America flight in history. Read the rest of Solar Impulse Team to Attempt First Ever Solar-Powered Cross-U.S.A Flight in History Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Andre Borscheberg , bertrand piccard , green air travel , green airplane , green transportation , solar airplane , solar impulse , solar impulse fly across united states , Solar Impulse HB-SIA plane , Solar Impulse HB-SIB plane , solar impulse us flight , solar impulse us trip , Solar Power , solar powered aircraft , solar powered plane , solar powered transportation

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Solar Impulse Team to Attempt First Ever Solar-Powered Cross-U.S.A Flight in History

Solar Impulse Team to Attempt First Ever Solar-Powered Cross-U.S.A Flight in History

December 12, 2012 by  
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Flights across the U.S. have become somewhat mundane since Calbraith Perry Rodgers completed the first one ever back in 1911, but now a new group of aviation pioneers wants to take on the same feat with a decidedly more difficult twist thrown in – they can’t use any fuel except for the power of the sun. The Solar Impulse team, led by Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg, announced tonight that it will be taking its solar-powered plane to the skies this summer on a transcontinental flight from San Franscisco to New York. If successful, the trip would be the first solar-powered, cross-America flight in history. Read the rest of Solar Impulse Team to Attempt First Ever Solar-Powered Cross-U.S.A Flight in History Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Andre Borscheberg , bertrand piccard , green air travel , green airplane , green transportation , solar airplane , solar impulse , solar impulse fly across united states , Solar Impulse HB-SIA plane , Solar Impulse HB-SIB plane , solar impulse us flight , solar impulse us trip , Solar Power , solar powered aircraft , solar powered plane , solar powered transportation

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Solar Impulse Team to Attempt First Ever Solar-Powered Cross-U.S.A Flight in History

MDC Interiors Creates Awesome LEGO Table With the Help of 3rd Grade Students

December 11, 2012 by  
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MDC Interiors was invited to work with The Museum School of Avondale Estates for an art auction to raise money for the school – and they teamed up with a group of talented third graders to assemble this awesome LEGO table! The project is based on an old 80’s thrift store furniture piece that the team dismantled and spray painted orange. All of the wood is reclaimed, and the LEGO bricks are pieced together without glue. The kids initialed their “lego block” so they could leave an imprint of their contribution. + MDC Interiors The article above was submitted to us by an Inhabitat reader. Want to see your story on Inhabitat ? Send us a tip by following this link . Remember to follow our instructions carefully to boost your chances of being chosen for publishing! Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “green furniture” , “sustainable furniture” , green design , green interiors , Lego bricks , lego table , mdc interiors , recycled furniture , Recycled Materials , sustainable design

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MDC Interiors Creates Awesome LEGO Table With the Help of 3rd Grade Students

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