A solar-powered aircraft today successfully completed its third test flight in the UAE ahead of its planned round-the-world voyage, including India to promote alternative energy.
An hour-long test of the The Solar Impulse 2 (Si2) was held at the Al-Bateen airport here. It was the plane’s third test, but the first for Solar Impulse chairman Bertrand Piccard, the descendant of a family of Swiss scientist-adventurers.
The revolutionary single-seater sustainable aircraft will attempt the solar-powered flight around the world beginning this month from Abu Dhabi. The aircraft may head off around the world as early as Saturday depending on the weather conditions, the organisers said.
During the test, the pilot reported no problems, mission chiefs said.
“From the operation point of view, this part of the world and the Middle East is the best location for us to start because it gives us the possibility to fly over India and China very early in the season,” said Borschberg, Solar Impulse Co-founder, CEO and pilot.
Si2 is scheduled to stop in 12 locations, including layovers in India, China, Hawaii, New York and southern Europe or North Africa, before returning to Abu Dhabi.
Travelling at speeds between 50-100 kmph, the journey will take about 25 days of flight spread over five months.
Si 2 is the successor to Solar Impulse, which notched up a 26-hour flight in 2010. It is scheduled to arrive back in Abu Dhabi in July.
Earlier on February 26, the aircraft made it test fire across the skies of Abu Dhabi.