Solar Impulse
Solar Impulse 2 broke a world record and became the first ever solar aircraft to land in Asia. (Image from http://www.solarimpulse.com/leg-2-from-Muscat-to-Ahmedabad)

Solar Impulse – Muscat to Ahmedabad

Solar Impulse Series: Leg 2 – Muscat to Ahmedabad

After an 11-hour break to charge up its batteries in Muscat, Oman, Solar Impulse 2 set back to the skies for the second leg of its journey around the world. This time out, Si2 broke a world record and became the first ever solar aircraft to land in Asia.

Pilot Bertrand Piccard flew 1,593 kilometers (about 990 miles) across the Arabian Sea and parts of Pakistan to Ahmedabad, India. The flight set a new record for the longest-ever distance flown in a solar airplane and took Piccard 15 hours and 20 minutes to complete. Thousands of curious locals were there for the landing in the dark of night at 11:25 p.m. local time.

Piccard described the experience at landing: “Hundreds of flowers, silk embroidered scarves draped over my shoulders, the instant crackling of flashes which blinds us: I am torn away in a fraction of a second from the muffled intimacy of my cockpit. Yes I really am in India!”

The mission remained in Ahmedabad for four days promoting renewable energies and clean technologies before embarking on the next part of its round-the-world trip. The plan for the mission ahead is to stop at various locations around the globe, rest and carry out maintenance (and charge the batteries), before setting off to the next location. Meanwhile, Solar Impulse will spread its message about clean technologies and moving toward a sustainable future.

View highlights of this record-breaking flight on the Solar Impulse YouTube channel. The next leg of the journey will switch back to Andre Borschberg at the controls as he flies inland cross-country to Varanasi, India.

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