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PHOTO CAPTION: Solar Impulse over the Pacific on record setting flight piloted by Andre Boschberg

Solar Impulse Within Day's Flight of Hawaii

Solar-powered airplane on record-setting flight from Japan to Hawaii has been airborne more than 3 days with Pacific islands within another day of flight.

Published: 02-Jul-2015

Andre Boschberg set a new solo flight endurance record of more than 76 hours on his flight from Japan to Hawaii powered only by sunlight in the Solar Impulse. As of June 2nd, he has completed some 83% of the 8,171 km (5,077 miles) non-stop flight as sun rises over the central Pacific. With 1,349 km (838 mi.) remaining before landfall, at his current ground speed of around 40 mph, he is within a day of completing the first of two, historic trans-Pacific legs.

According to the Solar Impulse web site, which posts live updates on the flight, the profile of the mission sees the plane climb during daylight hours to flight level 30 (30,000 ft/9km) and then glide down to 5-6000 ft during overnight hours. Since Boschberg requires oxygen above 18,000 ft, he has 8 bottles of oxygen onboard the plane; half of which he's used up at this point in the flight.

In addition to oxygen, he's consumed 8 of the 18 meal rations stowed aboard and used up 15 of the 25 liters of water. He sleeps in 20-minute increments, averaging some 320 minutes per day.

If the flight continues to progress without any unexpected developments, by this time tomorrow, June 3rd in the Pacific, he should be close to landing on Oahu, demonstrating the enormous potential of solar energy, which is the core rationale for the around-the-world flight.

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