A typical commercial flight from Hawaii to San Francisco takes a little over five hours. On Saturday, pilot Bertrand Piccard completed the journey in 62.5 hours in a plane entirely powered by the sun.
The Solar Impulse 2 took off from Hawaii on Thursday, landing in Mountain View, California on Saturday evening, the latest leg in its round-the-world tour that started in Abu Dhabi in March of 2015.
One of the goals of Solar Impulse 2's flight (beyond making it back to the start/finish line in Abu Dhabi) is to raise awareness and generate support for cleaner, greener technologies, a goal shared by others around the world. While Solar Impulse 2 hovered over the Pacific, the Paris Agreement on Climate Change was being signed at UN headquarters in New York. Piccard spoke to Secretary-General of the UN, Ban Ki-moon, during the flight.
“I am inspired by your pioneering spirit,” the Secretary-General said after telling Piccard he looked like an astronaut flying to the moon. “While you are making history flying around the world, we also are making history today. More than 175 countries signed the Climate Change Agreement. Thank you for your leadership and inspiration. We wish you a smooth flight. You are leading us into a new era. Bon voyage!”
The next leg of their journey will take them from Mountain View, CA, to somewhere in the Central United States at a still-to-be determined date.
In the meantime, take a look through some of the images from their most recent flight.