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First training flight is a success!
27/02 - 2016

First training flight is a success!

The first Solar Impulse 2 maintenance flight took place on Friday 26 of February was uneventful. The plane took off from Kalaeloa airport at 4:32PM UTC with our test pilot, Markus Scherdel, in the cockpit, and landed at 6:05PM UTC.


Bertrand Piccard was following this long-awaited flight from the other side of the world and confessed that it was a true relief to see Si2 back in the sky of Hawaii after the last months of uncertainty.


During the hour and a half that it lasted, the team based at the Mission Control Center performed maintenance checks to verify that the technology installed in the aircraft ran smoothly, such as the stabilisation and cooling system, which both performed superbly. Si2 flew up to 8,000 feet over the Pacific Ocean and then returned to the Kalaeloa base.


This positive outcome would not have been possible without the extraordinary effort of the whole team:
- The amazing hosting of the plane on the Kalaeloa airport, thanks to the University of Hawaii and with the support of the Department of Transportation;
- The protection of the aircraft by the team which enabled it to stay safely on land since July;
- The maintenance performed by the engineers and the Mission Control Center’s hard last work to prepare this first training flight


André Borschberg was in Hawaii, following Si2’s first steps back in the air. The flight reminded him of last year’s ocean crossing from Nagoya to Hawaii. As time passes, one sometimes remembers the past as if it were a dream, but today was proof that the record-breaking flight and arrival in Hawaii in July were real!

This blog post has been originally published here