The Middle East is the first leg of Solar Impulse 2‘s record attempt to fly around the world without using a drop of fuel, only relying on solar power.
Test flights were made in the emirate of Abu Dhabi, which holds 9% of the world’s proven oil reserves, and were an astounding success as can be seen in the video.
From Abu Dhabi, Solar Impulse 2 will fly to its first stop in Muscat, in the Sultanate of Oman. The plane will fly for 400 km (248.5 miles) for around 12 hours.
The same team that set records with its first plane, the Solar Impulse, that made an Atlantic trip without fuel backup.
As the team earlier said, Solar Impulse‘s technology is already proven, it is the human aspect that they are really concerned about. Flying a plane for twelve hours straight is no joke, and would warrant a pilot change in normal circumstances. The pilots of Solar Impulse 2 will be pushing the limits of human endurance by keeping up with the plane as it flies nonstop, all through the day and into the night.
As with other endeavors that push human endurance, nutrition is one of the key aspects of this record breaking attempt. Nestle, the company that also makes the Power Gel that fuels triathletes on full Ironman triathlons, is also feeding the pilots of Solar Impulse 2.
We are wishing the pilots the best of luck as they show that the dreams of solar powered flight are possible.