Solar Impulse 2 is one flight away from circling the globe on no fuel

After landing in Cairo, the solar-powered plane is close to Abu Dhabi

The Solar Impulse 2 aircraft landed in Cairo on Wednesday, putting it tantalizingly close to completing a circumnavigation of the globe without burning a single drop of fuel.

The aircraft swept over the pyramids before landing at Cairo International Airport at just after 7 a.m. local time this morning. It's now about 3,000 kilometers (1,800 miles) away from Abu Dhabi, where it began its journey in March 2015.

Solar Impulse 2 was designed to run entirely on solar power, generated by hundreds of thin panels that cover the upper side of its wings and its body. It can carry a single pilot and theoretically stay in the air forever, but its human cargo necessitates the need to land.

Typically, the pilot can only take 20-minute naps during the course of each leg, which take several days and nights, so most flights have taken two or three days. The most recent from Spain to Egypt took two days and two nights.

For the pilots, who stopped in Silicon Valley on their way around the world, the flight is about much more than breaking a record. They are keen to demonstrate what's possible with alternative energy sources and promote the use of solar power.

With its limitation on passengers and slow pace of flight, Solar Impulse 2 might not be the future of passenger aviation, but it has succeeded in demonstrating that solar power alone is capable of supporting such an impressive flight.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Martyn Williams

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Crucial Ballistix Elite 32GB Kit (4 x 8GB) DDR4-3000 UDIMM

Learn more >

Gadgets & Things

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Plox Star Wars Death Star Levitating Bluetooth Speaker

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?