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Solar Impulse from Nagoya Japan to Hawaii USA

News International-French

1 Jul 2015

Attempting the first ever Round-The-World solar flight to inspire innovation and encourage the use of clean technologies, the solar powered airplane of Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg will try again to make a historical oceanic flight that will last at least 5 days and 5 nights non-stop.

This morning at 3:03 am local time Japan (6:03pm GMT on June 28th) Swiss Pilot André Borschberg took off in the single seater aircraft from Nagoya endeavoring to reach Hawaii, in what will be the longest exploration leg of the Solar Impulse’s Round-The-World mission. The first 10 hours of flight were difficult for the team who had to solve technical problems before giving the final go to head for Hawaii when Solar Impulse was already off the coast of Japan.

This is a second attempt after diverting the first time around to Nagoya, Japan following a take off from Nanjing, China. This flight will be demanding and challenging particularly given its duration and the fact that no immediate landing is possible and will be a feat never accomplished before in the world of aviation.

The attempt to reach Hawaii from Japan will represent a real life test of endurance for the pilot while at the same time pushing the limits of the airplane to even new levels. Successfully arriving in Hawaii will proving that the impossible is achievable.

André will venture into the unknown and demonstrate his courage by adapting to extreme circumstances, ranging from living in a small, 3.8m3 cockpit; maintaining his confidence that the energy collected from the sun throughout the day will last through the night; and, remaining physically and mentally alert throughout the entire journey. For this, André will sleep only for 20 minutes at a time and will use yoga and meditation to keep his body energy and mindset functioning well.

“The real moment of truth still lies ahead. We are now at the point in the Round-the-World Solar Flight where everything comes together, the engineers who worked on the airplane for the last 12 years, the Mission Control Center who will have to predict weather and guide the airplane through good conditions, and Bertrand who had this vision 16 years ago of an airplane flying for days without fuel to change our mindset regarding the potential of clean technologies and renewable energies" said André Borschberg, Co-Founder, CEO and Pilot.

“An airplane flying day and night without fuel is more than a spectacular milestone in aviation, it's the living proof that clean technologies and renewable energies can achieve incredible feats; and that all these energy efficient technologies should now be used globally in order to have a cleaner world. Solar Impulse is the result of years of innovation from our partners and the hard work of our engineering team led by André”, said Bertrand Piccard, Solar Impulse Initiator, Chairman and Pilot.

Bertrand Piccard, who will pilot the airplane from Hawaii to Phoenix, will complete the crossing of the Pacific. This flight will not only continue to demonstrate the credibility of the vision of Solar Impulse, but more importantly, help at raising millions of voices from individuals and governments to replace old polluting devices with new clean technologies that are more energy efficient. Bertrand and André have created a web platform FutureIsClean, in order to enable concerned citizens a mechanism to input into the upcoming COP 21 negotiations in Paris.

Solar Impulse is extremely thankful and appreciative for the valuable support extended during the stop over in Japan. Solar Impulse Main Partners, Schindler and ABB were instrumental in helping to provide much needed infrastructure assistance. The Ministries of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, and Foreign Affairs, together with Customs and Immigration and the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau were especially helpful and reactive in organizing the arrival in Japan. The Nagoya Komaki Airport Authority and the Aichi Prefecture extended generous hospitality. Nakanihon Air Services also played an important element in facilitating all the arrangements in the ground. Finally, the Swiss Embassy in Tokyo was instrumental in coordinating Solar Impulse’s stay in Japan with all the relevant authorities.