Solar-powered aircraft set for a date with Varanasi


slide_303425_2577726_freeThe world’s only solar-powered aircraft on its maiden global journey is set to have a date with the scared city of Varanasi and

The aircraft took off from Abu Dhabi in United Arabs Emirates on March 9 and is scheduled to make a brief stopover at Ahmedabad (March 10) where the founders and pilots, Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg are likely to stay in the city for two days before leaving for Varanasi.

The aircraft is going to hover over the shimmering expanse of Ganga, revered by Hindus but one of the world’s most polluted rivers, and will spread the message of cleanliness. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who hails from Gujarat and has launched the Clean Ganga Mission, should be delighted at the landing of the aircraft in the two places, which are closely linked to his life and career. Mr Modi represents Varanasi in Lok Sabha (upper house of India’s parliament) and helmed Gujarat for more than a decade as the chief minister of Gujarat.

The owners of the aircraft and the pilot will be visiting schools and NGOs during their stay in the Ahmedabad and focus on promoting clean technologies and sustaining non-renewable sources of energy.

The Solar Impulse is the first aircraft to fly day and night without a drop of fuel, running solely by the sun’s energy.

During its round-the-world tour, it is expected to halt at Muscat (Oman), Ahmedabad and Varanasi in India, Mandalay in Myanmar and Chongqing and Nanjing in China after its take off from Abu Dhabi in UAE. The single- seater aircraft is made of carbon fiber, larger than that of Boeing 747 which weighs around 2300 kg, will fly across the US, stopping at Phoenix, the Midwest and New York City after crossing the Pacific Ocean via Hawaii.
(Information courtesy: www.solarimpulse.com)