The world’s only fully solar powered aircraft ‘Solar Impulse-2′, which is in the city after its journey from Muscat, would be showcased to public tomorrow, according to the aircraft’s Twitter account.
“PUBLIC DAY: come see #SI2 (Solar Impulse-2) in its #Ahmedabad tent tomorrow at 7:30 AM,” said a statement on Solar Impulse-2’s Twitter account.
— SOLAR IMPULSE (@solarimpulse) March 12, 2015
However, it would be kept in the open only for an hour or two, said sources associated with the project.
The globetrotting ‘Solar Impulse 2′ aircraft made a landing at the Sardar Vallabhai Patel International Airport here since Tuesday night, 15 hours after it took off from Muscat.
Andre Borschberg, the project co-founder and pilot of SI-2, besides its co-pilot as well as president Bertrand Piccard, who are in the city, are likely to stay here for two more days.
Meanwhile, a sudden change of weather and untimely clouds in the city’s sky as well as a thunderstorm-like atmosphere today led the ‘Solar Impulse-2′ team to work voluntarily in the dark.
“Solar team now working in the dark: voluntarily power outrage because of risks of thunderstorms in Ahmedabad in India,” said the Twitter account of SI-2, with a picture showing the aircraft in the dark.
SI-2 reached Muscat on Tuesday, nearly 13 hours after it left Abu Dhabi.
From Ahmedabad SI-2 is scheduled to fly to Varanasi, and from there it would go to Mandalay in Myanmar as well as Chongqing and Nanjing in China and thereafter to the USA.
Solar Impulse 2 is designed to fly day and night without using a single drop of fuel. The plane is powered entirely by solar panels and onboard batteries, which charge during the day to enable the ultra-lightweight plane to continue its journey throughout the night.
The plane has a wingspan of 236 feet (72 meters), and it weighs only 5,070 pounds (2,300 kilograms), or about the same as a car, company officials have said. The aircraft’s wings are covered with 17,000 solar cells that power the plane’s onboard systems.
The round-the-world flight is designed to demonstrate the possibilities of “green” technology and sustainable energy.
In 2013, Borschberg and Piccard completed an unprecedented coast-to-coast-flight across the United States, using a first-generation prototype of the Solar Impulse plane. The first-of-its-kind flight took two months, and included five stops between California and New York.
Since that cross-country flight, the Solar Impulse team has made several upgrades to the aircraft to prepare for the current round-the-world journey. Engineers made Solar Impulse 2 more energy efficient by improving the quality of the aircraft’s batteries and using lighter materials to construct the plane. The aircraft’s cockpit was also upgraded to include more space and better ergonomic designs, which will help Borschberg and Piccard remain as comfortable as possible during long flights, according to company officials.