The Solar Impulse 2 is about to complete the most dangerous leg of its record-breaking flight Friday, landing at Hawaii's
The stretch from Japan to Hawaii is reportedly the most difficult portion of the flight, because the plane was flying over the vast Pacific Ocean, with very few options in case of an emergency landing. The 4,000-mile trip, already five days long, shot past the previous solo record held by American entrepreneur Steve Fossett, who flew for 76 hours 45 minutes in 2006. The flight also broke the record for longest solar-powered flight by time and by distance, USA Today reported.
The plane -- and mission -- are the brainchildren of the Swiss businessman Andre Borschberg and psychiatrist Bertrand Piccard. Resting only with 20-minute naps, pilot Andre Borschberg tweeted early Friday:
It is delicate to maintain a balance between my energy and the energy of the aircraft pic.twitter.com/N5x71jjYXO
— André Borschberg (@andreborschberg) July 3, 2015
They have already completed a number of the legs of the flight that is attempting to circumnavigate the globe. The trip into Hawaii had been delayed by bad weather for weeks. The undertaking began March 9 in
The plane is made of carbon fiber and has a 236-foot wingspan, which is longer than that of a Boeing 747. It is powered only by 17,000 solar cells, and it flies at a speed just above 43 mph.
The Solar Impulse 2 team is running a live stream, featuring commentary and interviews with those involved in the project. It also shows the plane in the air and allows viewers to hear radio contact between pilot Borschberg and those at mission control.
Check out the live stream below: