The Earth Day has been celebrated at international level since 1990. Once a year, this thematic day brings awareness about environmental topics worldwide. Solar Impulse 2 (SI2) plane is the perfect example for environmental progress. Only powered by the sun, the experimental aircraft should fly around the World in one go and therefore demonstrate the huge possibilities offered by renewable energy. After a nine-month break, the electric-powered airplane is now launched from Hawaii to California as next stop. High performance plastics are on board of the plane which allow for weight reduction of the aircraft, protection of the pilot, and also contributes to the generation of solar energy.

Photo:©Jean Revillard

The project of the Swiss pioneers and SI2 pilots Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg was made possible thanks to innovative plastic materials, which enabled to build a single-seat aircraft made of composite materials, with a wing span of 72 meters exceeding the jumbo jet’s one. SI2’s weight does not exceed 2.3 tons, which is just as much as an empty car. More than 17,000 solar cells are displayed on the wings.

The SI2 shows in an impressive way how today's technology can turn past dreams into today’s reality. SI2 started its flight in March 2015 from Abu Dhabi, flying over India and China to Hawaii – all of this without a single drop of fuel. For the 9th step to California a nearly three-day non-stop flight is planned, which started on Thursday night (04/21/2016), Central European Time. After landing in California, there will be two more flights in the United States before heading to Europe and back to Abu Dhabi. At the end of his trip, the solar plane will have covered a total distance of 35,000 kilometers.