If you’ve turned on a television recently, chances are you’ve heard of the Solar Impulse 2. This solar-powered aircraft is currently attempting to circumnavigate the globe relying on solar power alone. A single pilot is the only person on board with a full mission control team back in Monaco monitoring the aircraft’s every move. With a wingspan of 72 metres (that’s bigger than a 747), the aircraft is huge, but the cockpit itself is only 3.8 m3, to be as small and light as possible. The wings and body of the plane are covered in solar panels, which charge the batteries during the day so the aircraft can continue to fly at night.
Starting in Abu Dhabi, it has hopped across the Middle East, India and China and set off across the Pacific to Hawaii, an immense 6-day flight which would have been the aircraft’s, and the pilot’s, biggest test. However, due to poor weather, the Solar Impulse 2 had to make an unscheduled stopover in Japan, whilst they wait for the next weather reports offering a clear window for the journey to Hawaii. We’ll keep our eyes on it and update you as it continues its record breaking journey across the world.