His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan United Arab Emirates minister of foreign affairs, visited Al Bateen Executive Airport to view Solar Impulse 2 (Si2) during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, hosted by Masdar.
Accompanied by H.E. Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, UAE minister of state and chairman of Masdar, the Crown Prince was greeted by Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg, the Swiss co-founders and pilots of Solar Impulse. Piccard and Borschberg provided a tour of Si2 and a detailed overview of the innovative technology and engineering behind the aircraft. His Highness and the pilots discussed how the plane’s ground-breaking solutions are advancing the aerospace and clean technology sectors.
Young winners and finalists of the Zayed Future Energy Prize, Global High Schools category as well as the 10 UAE winners of the #YTurnItOff water and energy conservation campaign visited the aircraft to meet the pilots and greet His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed.
The visit took place following a press conference where the round-the-world flight path was revealed. Si2 will take-off from Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirate, in late February or early March and return by late July or early August 2015. The route includes stops in Muscat, Oman; Ahmedabad and Varanasi, India; Mandalay, Myanmar; and Chongqing and Nanjing, China. After crossing the Pacific Ocean via Hawaii, Si2 will fly across the Continental U.S.A. stopping in three locations – Phoenix, and New York City at JFK. A location in the Midwest will be decided dependent on weather conditions. After crossing the Atlantic, the final legs include a stop-over in Southern Europe or North Africa before arriving back in Abu Dhabi.
Solar Impulse 2 is the only airplane able to fly day and night on solar power without a drop of fuel or polluting emissions. It is attempting the first round-the-world solar flight in 2015 and beginning and ending its historic journey in Abu Dhabi.
The Solar Impulse team, hosted by Masdar, will conduct a series of tests over the coming weeks prior to commencing the historic attempt.