After an unscheduled stay of several weeks in Japan due to bad weather, the ground-breaking aircraft made a perfect landing on Kalaeloa, Hawaii at 05:55 local time on July 3, 2015.
The flight time from Nagoya in Japan was four days, 21 hours and 52 minutes covering a distance of 6,449.8km and crossing two weather fronts that created considerable turbulence. Andre Borschberg, one of the two pilots of Solar Impulse was at the controls as the aeroplane touched down, and was greeted by a jubilant crowd of project workers, airport spectators and the media. Traditional Hawaiian garlands of flowers were placed round his neck as Borschberg posed for pictures. Then Solar Impulse was transported carefully to its canvas hanger.
This was the longest leg of the round-the-world project to prove and encourage the use of clean technologies, and it has beaten the previous record for the greatest amount of time spent aloft – 76 hours set by Steve Fossett in 2006.
Waiting to greet the arrival was Borschberg’s partner in the endeavour, pilot Bertrand Piccard, who will take the aircraft on to its next destination, the city of Phoenix in Arizona.