Solar Impulse 2, the airplane powered solely by electrical energy harvested from sunlight, has complete its journey from New York City to Seville Spain. Its mission to fly around the world on solar power alone is now 90% complete. Pilot Bertrand Piccard tweeted after he touched down,
— Bertrand PICCARD (@bertrandpiccard) June 23, 2016
Solar Impulse 2 was aloft for 71 hours and 8 minutes. It was greeted when it reached Spain by the Patrulla Águila, the Spanish equivalent to the Blue Angels.
The flight across the Atlantic began just 9 days after Solar Impulse 2 arrived in New York from Pennsylvania. Thanks to the work of engineers at Mission Control in Monaco, the flight was able to get out ahead of a fast developing storm over the Atlantic. Time on the ground was a lot less than anyone had anticipated.
Solar Impulse 2 will remain in Seville for a few days. Two or three more short flights across the Mediterranean are planned before it completes its circumnavigation of the world by returning to Abu Dhabi, where the journey began 15 months ago.
On his blog, Piccard says, “Success will be measured by the number of kilometres we’ve accomplished, but most of all by the number of people we will have inspired to follow their dreams and make the world a better place. Help us by spreading the #futureisclean message!”
Piccard’s uplifting message of hope comes at a time when the European Union seems about to break apart after the UK voted this week to withdraw from the organization. Rumors abound that the Netherlands and France may be next to go. When it comes to the march of civilization, it appears it is often a story of one step forward and two steps back. Even if the world had access to abundant renewable energy, human beings will always find reasons to despise each other, or so it seems.