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atlantic crossing

Solar Impulse 2 has landed in Spain, completing the Atlantic leg of its historic bid to circumnavigate the globe.

The landing in Seville marked the end of the 15th stage of the solar-powered aircraft’s route.

Pilot Bertrand Piccard made swift progress over the ocean after leaving New York on June 20.

Mission managers will now plot a route to Abu Dhabi where the venture began in March, 2015.

Photo Twitter

Photo Twitter

The project had hoped to end the Atlantic leg in Paris, to echo the pioneering flight in 1927 of Charles Lindbergh.

Charles Lindbergh’s Spirit of St Louis aircraft was the first to make the solo crossing.

As it turned out, the forecast this week in Paris was for storms, and so Seville was therefore chosen as the safest option.

Solar Impulse has moved rapidly around the Earth since renewing its challenge in Hawaii on April 21.

In 2015, the zero-fuel plane flew eight stages from Abu Dhabi to Kalaeloa, including a remarkable four-day, 21-hour leg over the western Pacific – the longest solo flight in aviation history in terms of the time it took.

It was damage to its batteries on that stage that forced Solar Impulse to then lay up for 10 months, for repairs and to wait for optimum daylight length in the northern hemisphere to return.

Solar Impulse is covered in 17,000 photovoltaic cells.

The project is not really intended to be a template for the future of aviation, but rather a demonstration of the capabilities of solar power in general.

Bertrand Piccard shares the flying duties with his business partner, Andre Borschberg.

The former Swiss air force pilot will take charge for the next leg, across the Mediterranean.

Setting off from Seville will be easier than from Paris in this respect, said project team-member Yves Andre Fasel who liaises with air traffic control.

“If we would have arrived in Paris like we wished, it would have been very complicated because we would have had to cross a lot of air traffic controls.

“From Seville, if we go along North Africa, I don’t think there will be a lot of difficulties – from traffic. The difficulties will be more to do with military reasons and things like that.”

The Solar Impulse 2 is set to cross the Atlantic, one of the toughest stages of its attempt to fly around the globe using solar energy.

Pilot Bertrand Piccard will attempt to reach Seville in Spain after about 90-hour flight from New York.

It is the first ever attempt to cross the Atlantic in a purely solar-powered aircraft.

Bertrand Piccard takes short naps while the plane is in flight.Solar Impulse lands in Phoenix

The Atlantic crossing will be “the longest distance we have had to fly this year,” the Solar Impulse team said.

The flight was supposed to begin on June 19 but was delayed by bad weather.

Bertrand Piccard, a psychiatrist, is sharing the 22,000 mile round-the-world journey with Swiss entrepreneur Andre Borschberg.

The Solar Impulse, which has the wingspan of a Boeing 747, is covered in 17,000 photovoltaic cells to capture the sun’s rays.

The aircraft landed at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport on June 11 after a five-hour flight from Lehigh Valley in Pennsylvania.

The record attempt began on March 9, 2015, in Abu Dhabi, and has taken the aircraft across Asia and the Pacific to the US.


Jonathan Trappe, who is trying to cross the Atlantic in a lifeboat suspended by some 370 multicolored helium balloons, says he has made his first stop-over landing.

Jonathan Trappe lifted off from the city of Caribou in the state of Maine amid heavy fog at dawn on Thursday.

Ten hours later, Jonathan Trappe said on Facebook he had “landed safe” and would spend the night at the undisclosed location.

Ascending up to 25,000ft, Jonathan Trappe hopes to cover his “epic” 2,500-mile trip to Europe within six days.

Jonathan Trappe, an IT manager from North Carolina, has previously completed successful cluster balloon voyages across the Alps and the English Channel.

Depending on weather conditions, Jonathan Trappe could touch down anywhere between Northern Africa and Scandinavia.

“Weather is absolutely the most dangerous factor,” he said minutes before take-off.

“It’s the only thing that will carry me across, but bad conditions could also ruin the attempt or endanger my life.”

The capsule the adventurer is riding in is a lifeboat, which can be used in case he is forced to land over water.

Jonathan Trappe is trying to cross the Atlantic in a lifeboat suspended by some 370 multicolored helium balloons

Jonathan Trappe is trying to cross the Atlantic in a lifeboat suspended by some 370 multicolored helium balloons

“This is a serious piece of emergency gear that mariners rely upon to save their lives if their mother ship goes down,” Jonathan Trappe said.

Some 150 volunteers helped to fill the balloons with helium on Wednesday evening.

At sunrise, Jonathan Trappe ascended from a softball field in Caribou, near the Canadian border, in a scene reminiscent of the animated movie Up, in which a house attached to cluster balloons travelled across the skies.

“It was nail-biting waiting for a weather window that would allow me to get up into the air and catch those transatlantic winds we’d been seeing,” he said.

“I need to get on them and ride them across like a conveyor belt.”

By Thursday afternoon, Jonathan Trappe confirmed he was heading toward Newfoundland.

“In the quiet sky, above the great Gulf of St. Lawrence, traveling over 50mph – in my little yellow rowboat, at 18,000 feet,” he wrote in a Facebook post.

Jonathan Trappe will drop ballast in order to gain altitude, and pop or release balloons to descend.

He is relying on weather data from the same meteorologist who advised daredevil Felix Baumgartner on his record-breaking skydive from space last year.

Jonathan Trappe said it took him “two years of work and years more of dreams” to prepare for his journey.

“My heart could never live a long life the way it is beating now,” he wrote on his website.

“I have been looking at an epic challenge – one that honestly may prove to be beyond me – and I’ve changed my entire life to make it happen.”

But he also spoke of the dangers involved in his record-breaking attempt.

“Five people have lost their lives attempting to cross these waters in a balloon, and two non-pilots were lost into the oceans flying cluster balloons,” he said.

Jonathan Trappe’s flight can be tracked live via satellite.

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