Video: Solar Impulse Prepares for Round the World Flight

The Solar Impulse team has completed its last test flights in Switzerland and has started to disassemble the Solar Impulse 2 (Si2) in preparation for shipping to Abu Dhabi, where the all-solar-powered airplane will take off on its round-the-world journey. The team expects to start the historic flight in early March.

After the first Solar Impulse prototype completed many successful test flights, one spanning from coast to coast across the United States last year, the Si2 flew for the first time in June. The founders of Solar Impulse and pilots of the solar powered platforms, André Borschberg and Bertrand Piccard, have both been flying the platforms and have gone through extensive simulator sessions to make sure they are fit to take on the longest flight legs of the approximate 22,000-mile journey, some of which are expected to span five days and nights non-stop.

The Si2 is not a speedy platform and the team expects the Solar Impulse to take about five months to fly around the globe. But, if successful, it will be the first to complete the journey without burning any fuel.

Check out this spectacular video showing highlights from the more than 20 test flights of the Solar Impulse 2 around Switzerland and the Alps.

Pia Bergqvist joined FLYING in December 2010. A passionate aviator, Pia started flying in 1999 and quickly obtained her single- and multi-engine commercial, instrument and instructor ratings. After a decade of working in general aviation, Pia has accumulated almost 3,000 hours of flight time in nearly 40 different types of aircraft.

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