FAI Amateur-Built & Experimental Aircraft Commission (CIACA)

26 Jul 2016

Done! Solar Impulse 2 completes First Round-The-World Solar Flight and writes Aviation History!

They did it! After over 12 years of research and design, Swiss pioneers Dr. Bertrand Piccard (Initiator, Chairman and Pilot) and André Borschberg (Co-founder and CEO and Pilot) finished the first round-the-world solar flight, powered only by the sun with no fuel or polluting emissions. After 17 months since the first departure in March 2015 in Abu Dhabi (UAE), they landed at its original take-off point at this morning, 26 July at 02:05 CET (00:05 UTC, 04:05 Local Time). Since the beginning of the adventure, FAI has received 19 world record claims from the Solar Impulse Team.

“Who could have once imagined that FAI World Records would be set by electric airplanes producing their own energy with the sun and flying around the Earth without fuel. This is the magic of aviation: to innovate, inspire, surprise, and push us always further for the benefit of humankind. May everyone now implement on the ground the same pioneering spirit of clean technologies for a better quality of life,” Dr. Bertrand Piccard stated.

André Borschberg added: “It seems clear today that electrical propulsion has a great future in the aviation industry, simply thanks to its incredible energy efficiency. Setting firsts and breaking records of course help to demonstrate the potential of new technologies and solutions.”

FAI is currently waiting for the confirmation details of the last flight, including world record notifications. The current records achieved and claims received by the Solar Impulse 2 Team are listed below:

IDGROUPTYPE OF WORLD RECORDPERFORMANCEDATECLAIMANTSTATUS
TBACS

Flight Around The World

TBA

2016-07-26Solar Impulse TeamPerformance 
notifcation
17885C-d VI

Speed over a recognised course

72,2 km/h

2016-07-13André BorschbergClaim received

17868

CS

Distance along Course,
pre-declared waypoints

5’850 km

2016-06-23

Bertrand PiccardClaim received
17869C-d VI

Altitude

8'535 m

2016-06-23

Bertrand PiccardClaim received
17870C-d VIDistance5'739 km2016-06-23Bertrand PiccardClaim received
17875C-d VISpeed over a recognised course80,6 km/h2016-06-23Bertrand PiccardClaim received
17838C-d VIAltitude7'315 m2016-05-13Bertrand PiccardClaim received
17839C-d VIDistance1'537.5 km2016-05-13Bertrand PiccardClaim received
17840C-d VISpeed over a recognised course84 km/h2016-05-13Bertrand PiccardClaim received
17830CS

Distance along a course,

pre-declared waypoints
3'927 km2016-04-24Bertrand PiccardClaim received
17831CSAbsolute altitude9'420 m2016-04-24Bertrand PiccardClaim received
17832CSGain of height8'919 m2016-04-24Bertrand PiccardUnder review
17593CS

Straight distance,

pre-declared waypoints
6'449,8 km2015-07-03André BorschbergCurrent record
17594CSDuration117h 52min2015-07-03André BorschbergCurrent record
17595CSFree Distance along a course7'039.9 km2015-07-03André BorschbergCurrent record
17429CS

Straight distance,

pre-declared waypoints
1'468 km2015-03-10Bertrand PiccardCurrent record

370 h 24 min. (15d 10h 24m)

*Class C-d VI: Electric – powered Aeroplanes
**Class C-S:Solar-powered Aeroplanes

The Solar Impulse 2 Route

FLIGHTROUTEDURATIONDISTANCEPILOT
Leg 1Abu Dhabi (UAE) to Muscat (OMA)13 hours 01 minute772 kmAndré Borschberg
Leg 2Muscat (OMA) to Ahmedabad (IND)15 hours 20 minutes1'593 kmBertrand Piccard 
Leg 3Ahmedabad (IND) to Varanasi (IND)13 hours 15 minutes1'170 kmAndré Borschberg
Leg 4Varanasi (IND) to Mandalay (MYA) 13 hours 29 minutes1'536 kmBertrand Piccard 
Leg 5Mandalay (MYA) to Chongqing (CHN)20 hours 29 minutes1'636 kmBertrand Piccard 
Leg 6Chongqing (CHN) to Nanjing (CHN)17 hours 22 minutes1'384 kmBertrand Piccard 
Leg 7Nanjing (CHN) to Nagoya (JPN)44 hours 09 minutes2'942 kmAndré Borschberg 
Leg 8Nagoya (JPN) to Hawaii (USA) 117 hours 52 minutes8'924 kmAndré Borschberg
Leg 9Hawaii (USA) to San Francisco (USA)62 hours 29 minutes4'086 kmBertrand Piccard
Leg 10San Francisco (USA) to Phoenix (USA)15 hours 52 minutes1'113 kmAndré Borschberg
Leg 11Phoenix (USA) to Tulsa (USA) 18 hours 10 minutes1'570 kmBertrand Piccard 
Leg 12Tulsa (USA) to Dayton (USA) 16 hours 34 minutes1'113 kmAndré Borschberg 
Leg 13Dayton (USA) to Lehigh Valley (USA) 16 hours 49 minutes1'044 kmBertrand Piccard 
Leg 14Lehigh Valley (USA) to New York (USA) 04 hours 41 minutes265 kmAndré Borschberg 
Leg 15New York (USA) to Seville (ESP) 71 hours 23 minutes6'765 kmBertrand Piccard 
Leg 16Seville (ESP) to Cairo (EGY) 48 hours 50 minutes3'745 kmAndré Borschberg 
Leg 17Cairo (EGY) to Abu Dhabi (UAE) 48 hours 37 minutes2'597 kmBertrand Piccard 

The epic journey started on 09 March 2015 when the Solar Impulse 2 took off the first time at 03:12 UTC from Abu Dhabi (UAE) and ended with the last touchdown today’s morning, 26 July 2016 on its original take-off point. On overall, it took the whole team 17 months for the circumnavigation, by landing in four continents, nine different countries, 16 stops in 16 destinations, over 42.000 km and over 555 hours of flight.

The longest leg, an 8.924 km flight from Nagoya in Japan to Hawaii, USA, lasted nearly 118 hours and saw Mr. Borschberg break the FAI World Record for longest (Duration) uninterrupted solo flight.

During this fantastic adventure the Si2 Team touched down at historically significant destinations, such as Dayton, which is considered to be the birthplace of the legendary Wright Brothers. Additionally, the aircraft has been flown by both alternating pilots above iconic landmarks such as the Statute of Liberty on the way to New York or Pyramids of Giza on the way to Cairo. Additionally, whilst being aboard, Piccard had live conversations with aviation entrepreneur Richard Branson and United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon as he was airborne over the Pacific Ocean on “Earth Day” (22 April 2016) when the Paris Climate Agreement was signed by over 175 nations.

FAI, the World Air Sports Federation, would like to congratulate the whole Team of Solar Impulse 2 on this extraordinary achievement of circumnavigating the globe without a drop of fuel.

  • High resolution pictures of the flights are available on Flickr