A Solar-Powered Airplane Completed A Risky Three-Day Flight Over The Pacific Ocean
Pilot Bertrand Piccard landed a solar-powered airplane in San Francisco on Sunday at 11:45 p.m., which completed a 62-hour three-day flight over the Pacific Ocean.
“You know there was a moment in the night, I was watching the reflection of the moon on the ocean and I was thinking ‘I’m completely alone in this tiny cockpit and I feel completely confident.’ And I was really thankful to life for bringing me this experience,” Piccard said at a news conference after he landed according to the Associated Press. “It’s maybe this is one of the most fantastic experiences of life I’ve had.”
This landing came after it passed over the Golden Gate Bridge and spectators were watching the narrow aircraft with extra wide wings. The airplane is call the “Solar Impulse 2”. It’s ideal speed goes at 28 mph, much faster when the sun hits it due to the solar cells. Wings of the plane are equipped with 17,000 solar cells capable of powering propellers and charging batteries.
But the adventure doesn’t stop at San Francisco. The “Solar Impulse 2” will make three more stops in the United States, and then crossing the Atlantic Ocean to Europe or northern Africa. The future of solar-powered airplanes is bright if people get to see the benefits of the product.
“Maybe it will be boring in 20 years when all the airplanes will be electric and people will say ‘Oh it’s routine.’ But now, today, an airplane that is electric, with electric engines, that produces its own energy with the sun, it can never be boring,” Piccard said.