Solar Impulse Is Currently On An Epic 6 Day Pacific Ocean Crossing

Solar Impulse Is Currently On An Epic 6 Day Pacific Ocean Crossing

Having taken off over the weekend from Nanjing, China, Solar Impulse is on the longest leg of its journey. With a cruise speed under 100 km/h, the 8500 km journey will take up to 6 days and nights.

In comparison, a Boeing 747 could do the same trip in about 10 hours. Of course Solar impulse is doing it completely powered by the sun, as part of a multi leg, round the world trip.

The plane has already set records, but the latest leg will be even longer.

Despite going so slowly, Solar Impulse is actually wider than a 747, with a huge 72m wingspan. Even so, it weighs a tiny 2300 kg.

Powered by 17,248 solar cells with a 66 kW total capacity, Solar Impulse stores electricity during the day from solar in batteries so it can keep flying at night.

There is only a single pilot, who needs oxygen in the unpressurised cockpit. While the plane does have an autopilot, a 6 day and night flight in the cramped cockpit is way worse than even the longest passenger flight in economy.

For the full experience, check out the Solar Impulse website. Not only does it have a life stream of the mission, there is other cool info such as the battery level, how much solar it is gathering and the altitude.

At the time of writing, Solar Impulse is cruising over the Sea of Japan, with the ultimate goal of landing in Hawaii. Watch the live stream below.