The Solar Impulse 2 is likely to begin the most challenging leg – ‘The Epic Pacific Crossing’ -- of its round-the-world trip on May 5, the mission has announced.
“First possible departure date for @solarimpulse's #Pacific crossing is May 5!... #Flight7 will take 5 days and nights to cross the #Pacific: an extreme test of #pilot endurance ,” the official Twitter handle of the Si2 posted on Saturday. “#Hawaii will be the only island stop for #Si2, and also the furthest south that it will fly,” another tweet read.
The pilot who will attempt to cross the Pacific Ocean in the solar-powered plane had earlier said it would not only test the aircraft but his own endurance as well. Organisers expect the 8,500km-leg to take five-to-six days non-stop. A successful trip would set the record for the longest flight ever in a solar-powered plane.
“This will be the human challenge when we tackle the next leg," Andre Borschberg, CEO and co-founder of the Si2 and the pilot who will fly the plane over the Pacific Ocean to Hawaii, said recently. He spoke to an audience by video link from Switzerland, where he was receiving treatment for health problems.
The other of the two pilots, Bertrand Piccard, guided the plane to Nanjing, located near China’s Shanghai, to finish the sixth stage of the historic 12-leg quest on April 21."Andre (Borschberg) will be ready in a couple of weeks to jump in the cockpit and cross the Pacific to Hawaii," he had said after the landing.
Borschberg described his recent health issue as "shingles" which causes a painful rash. He was also treated for migraines.