117 hours, 52 minutes: Solar Impulse 2 lands in Hawaii after record-breaking flight

Solar Impulse 2 lands in Hawaii after a record-breaking flight from Japan.

At 5:55am Hawaii Standard Time on July 3rd, André Borschberg touched down at Hawaii’s Kalaeloa Airport – breaking the world records not only for longest and farthest solar flight, but also establishing a new world record for longest solo flight: 5 days and 5 night of flight covering nearly 7,200 kilometers. Since taking off from Nagoya, Japan, on June 29, Borschberg had faced a variety of challenges: extreme temperature fluctuations in the cabin, turbulence from hostile weather fronts, a strict sleeping schedule that limited him to brief naps throughout the day. His sunrise arrival on the island of Oahu was a achievement not only for the physical limits of a human pilot and the technical capacities of the Solar Impulse 2.

The bigger picture

More importantly, the successful completion of the grueling Pacific leg proved – to Borschberg, his co-pilot Bertrand Piccard, the Solar Impulse team, and the world – that a cleaner future for aviation and transportation at large is possible, backed by a pioneering and innovative spirit:

Bertrand Piccard shares his excitement on Twitter.
Bertrand Piccard shares his excitement on Twitter.


The road – or flight – ahead

But the hard part isn’t over for the Solar Impulse team – there are still several more challenges ahead, including the next leg: the flight from Hawaii to Phoenix, Arizona. Bertrand Piccard will be in the pilot’s seat for that journey, as he and his team continue to test the limits of solar flight and clean technology.

The Hawaii landing in photos (click to enlarge):

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About the author

Connie Hwong

I’m the Global Social Media Manager at ABB. When I’m not busy keeping tabs on the Twitterverse, I look for interesting stories to tell about ABB and great photos to illustrate them with. Prior to joining ABB, I was the Community and Marketing Manager at Gigaom in San Francisco, and I still occasionally dabble as a freelance music journalist. You can also find me exploring new electro and indie music venues or stubbornly trying to prove that it’s possible to ride a fixie around Zurich.
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