The Solar Impulse 2, a fuel-free plane making a record-breaking flight around the world, took off from Nanjing yesterday morning for its six-day, six-night flight over the Pacific Ocean.
Swiss pilot Andre Borschberg left Nanjing for Hawaii at around 2:40 a.m., after several weather delays left him grounded in the Jiangsu province capital for weeks.
The Pacific Ocean crossing marks the seventh and longest leg of the solar-powered round-the-globe flight, and the 8,500km trip could set a record for duration by a single pilot, according to AFP.
The Solar Impulse’s first stop was in Abu Dhabi on March 9, and the plane made four stops before landing in Chongqing and then Nanjing on April 21. All together, the plane was held up in China for over two months due to unfavorable weather conditions.
“I don’t see it (as) risky, in the sense that we worked a long time on all these different questions,” Borschberg told AFP about the ambitious Pacific crossing.
“In the worst case, we have a parachute, we have a life raft and we know how to use it. Of course, hoping that we will not need to do that.”