Soaring over the Pacific Ocean for nearly five days with little sleep but much perseverance, Swiss pilot Andre Borschberg has finally completed the longest leg of his 22,000-mile journey around the world after landing at Kalaeloa Airport Friday morning, all without a drop of fuel.
As the first solar-powered plane to fly around the world using only the sun and without fuel or polluting emissions, the Solar Impulse 2 landed on Oahu just before 6 a.m., completing leg 8 of 13. The aircraft left Nagoya, Japan early Monday after being grounded on the runway for several weeks due to unfavorable weather conditions. Over the past few days on his more than 4,000-mile journey to the Hawaiian islands, Borschberg, who’s flying solo, battled some grueling conditions, including turbulence and lack of sleep. But the 62-year-old has been doing yoga to keep up his mood and mindset.
“I don’t know how he’s doing it, but I do know he’s managed to stay in the plane so long already, and with all the adrenaline all the excitement, to be able to calm your body down before those final hours before landing,” said Conor Lennon, host of Solar Impulse TV.
But along the way, he’s also reached some milestones, including breaking a world record for the longest solo endurance flight at 76 hours and 45 minutes. And, of course, once he reaches Oahu, he’ll break his own record for flying the longest leg of his flight around the world.