Final preparations for Solar Impulse’s 10th round-the-world leg

After almost a week in Northern California raising awareness about solar energy, pilot Andre Borschberg is currently being prepared for the expected 16-hour flight to Phoenix.

Solar Impulse co-pilot Andre Borschberg and his team are making the final preparations for the next leg of their American tour, from California to Arizona. AP Photo
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ABU DHABI // Solar Impulse co-pilot Andre Borschberg and his team are making the final preparations for the next leg of their American tour, from California to Arizona.

After almost a week in Northern California raising awareness about solar energy in the Silicon Valley, Mr Borschberg, who is also the co-founder of the project, is currently being prepared for the expected 16-hour flight to Phoenix.

On Solar Impulse’s Twitter account, Bertrand Piccard, the other co-pilot and co-founder of the project, can be seen with his Mr Borschberg as he dons the gear and sensors needed to withstand the -20C temperatures he might encounter in the unpressurised cockpit.

“Putting on the flashy SI2 pilot clothes and different sensors with Daniel’s help. It’s a short night for all of us,” said Mr Borschberg in a statement on Solar Impulse’s official website.

The plane itself has been taken out of the hanger and onto the runway of the Moffett Federal Airfield, a common testing ground for NASA’s space programmes, for the media and the public to see.

“Being on a NASA base reminds me of my childhood in Cape Kennedy and shows me how far I’ve come,” Mr Piccard tweeted earlier on Monday.

The flight, which is expected to take off at 4pm UAE time, will be the 10th leg of the team’s zero-fuel circumnavigation attempt.

nalwasmi@thenational.ae