Solar Impulse 2, world’s first aircraft powered by solar energy, is set to land at Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport on Tuesday night.
The aircraft, which weighs as much as a car at 2,300kg, began its trip from Abu Dhabi on Monday and landed in Muscat on Monday night. The aircraft will make a stopover at Ahmedabad for four days before flying off to Varanasi.
Adventurer Bertrand Piccard and MIT graduate Andre Boschberg — Swiss co-founders and pilots — will take turns at the controls of this single-seater aircraft, changing at stopovers. Special arrangements for hosting the aircraft have been made at the city airport. “Since it is a slow-moving aircraft, it will be landing at night when traffic is minimum. A temporary hangar has been constructed to accommodate Solar Impulse,” said V K Sheth, joint general manager, Air Traffic Controller, Ahmedabad.
During the stopover, various awareness programmes like conferences, visits of schoolchildren and information exchange will take place.
Solar Impulse is hosted by Aditya Birla Group, Solvay, Schindler, ABB (Mission Leg Host Partners) with the support of the Gujarat government, GERMI, GEDA, and the embassy of Switzerland.