On March 8th, 2015, a challenging journey around the world has just gotten underway in a brand new, solar powered plane dubbed Solar Impulse-2. This trip is expected to be completed in about 5 months. The plane departed from Abu Dhabi headed eastbound toward Oman.
Plans for the flight include crossing both the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans as it hops from one continent to the next. Andre Borschberg is piloting the aircraft during the initial leg of the trip. He intends to train for the ocean crossing during his two month trip to China. Borschberg expects the trip across the ocean to last five days and nights. Borschberg explained to BBC News, “I am confident we have a very special aeroplane, and it will have to be to get us across the big oceans.“
The plane has an amazing wingspan of more than 236 feet and is larger than a jumbo jet; yet it is a slow flying propeller driven plane. There are 17,000 solar cells aboard the plane along with dense lithium-ion batteries to keep the plane soaring overnight. Borschberg will share piloting duties with Bertrand Piccard. They will stop, rest, and take turns on this epic journey around the world in a solar-powered plane.