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Bertrand Piccard resumes the Mission: takeoff from Hawaii
21/04 - 2016

Bertrand Piccard resumes the Mission: takeoff from Hawaii

Like the rising sun, the Solar Impulse 2 airplane rose from the tarmac at Kalaeloa Airport with Bertrand Piccard in the cockpit. However, just like the setting sun, it grew smaller and smaller, disappearing in the distance. This time, Si2 is not just going for a quick spin around the island, nor will it be returning to its snug hangar at Kalaeloa Airport. Movement is the true nature of an aircraft like Si2 and a known reality to us, the team. After being parked in its hangar at Kalaeloa Airport for 9 months, Si2 and the pilots are ready to move again, flying distances without making a single streak in the sky. We are now looking towards the winds ahead.


Bertrand Piccard took off from Kalaeloa Airport with Si2 at 4:15AM UTC, 6:15PM CET, 9:15AM PT for a journey that is expected to last 59 hours until landing at Moffett Airfield in Mountain View, California, USA. 81 years ago, Amelia Earhart faced the same challenge as Bertrand Piccard does today: crossing the Pacific Ocean from Hawaii to California. She set off from Honolulu on this solo flight and landed in Oakland, 3875.3 kilometers later. There was, however, one major difference: Amelia carried gallons of gasoline with her, whereas Bertrand simply relies on the power of the sun.

This flight is a big step forward and a sign of great collaboration and teamwork between all team members and our partners. It also marks the continuation of the attempt to complete the first round-the-world solar flight. Last year, Si2 made it from Abu Dhabi to Hawaii and this year we will attempt to complete the circle with the final landing in Abu Dhabi again. Looking forward, our two pilots, André Borschberg and Bertrand Piccard, will be taking turns at the controls of Si2 until they reach their final destination.

This is a touching moment that will bring the Pacific crossing that André Borschberg started to a close. This is a historic moment for both aviation and renewable energy. Together, let’s continue to attempt the first round-the-world solar flight and demonstrate that clean technologies can run the world.

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This blog post has been originally published here