Solar Impulse 2

Friday, 14 October 2016  |  Gareth

On 9th March 2015, after many years of intense research and development, an airplane took to the skies to start an almost impossible challenge; Solar Impulse 2 left Abu Dhabi on the first leg of its journey to fly around the world powered just by the Sun. Swiss pilots Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg set out on the amazing journey with the objective of showing that clean technologies can achieve impossible goals. They wanted to show that the zero-emissions technology might reduce energy usage and conserve natural resources, while showing the capacity of renewable resource.

More than a year later, Solar Impulse 2 touched down in Abu Dhabi on 26th July 2016, marking the completion of a world first. Over 17 legs and more than 500 hours in the air, 40,000 kms had been taken a trip without fuel and the world had actually been circumnavigated by an airplane using only solar energy for the very first time. It had actually flown at day and night, with Bertrand and André taking turns at the control, visiting at airports throughout Europe, North America, North Africa, the Middle East and Asia throughout the amazing journey.

The routine stops were determined by the endurance of the pilots as Solar Impulse 2 could, theoretically, fly permanently with its energy reserve being continuously replenished through 17,000 solar batteries.

With the Isle of Man’s identified commitment to safeguarding the environment and supporting the development of zero emissions technology, as shown by its UNESCO Biosphere status, it was with great pride that the Isle of Man Post Office sponsored Solar Impulse 2’s cells 4883, 4909 and 4935, guaranteeing the Island was a part of this incredible accomplishment.

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