Solar Impulse Lands in China

Bertrand Piccard lands Si2 in Chongqing after marathon flight.

Solar Impulse 2 in Chongqing

Solar Impulse 2 in Chongqing

Bertrand Piccard, one of the two founders of Solar Impulse, has completed the fifth leg of the pioneering journey in Si2, landing early Tuesday morning at Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport in China. The leg from Mandalay, Myanmar, to Chongqing was a marathon of epic proportions, taking Piccard 20 hours and 29 minutes to complete.

At 742 nm, the leg was not the longest of the trip so far. The flight between Oman and India was about 50 nm further; however, the flight from Mandalay to Chongqing lasted more than five hours longer. The reasons for the delay in landing were heavy air traffic flowing into the Chongqing airport and strong headwinds at lower altitudes that at times had the Si2 flying backward.

After the flight, Piccard said the successful completion of the challenging flight bodes well for the much longer legs that lie ahead.

While in China, the Solar Impulse team is continuing to spread the word of clean technologies through its Future is Clean campaign. Solar power is already a very well adapted power source in China, but this is the first time a solar powered airplane has landed on Chinese soil, Solar Impulse says.

With five of 12 planned legs now complete, the Si2 will soon depart for Nanjing followed by the most challenging trip of the round-the-world journey so far. The flight from Nanjing to Hawaii is 4,412 nm and is expected to take more than five days to complete.

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