26 Jul 2016

Done! Solar Impulse 2 completes First Round-The-World Solar Flight and writes Aviation History!

They did it! After over 12 years of research and design, Swiss pioneers Dr. Bertrand Piccard (Initiator, Chairman and Pilot) and André Borschberg (Co-founder and CEO and Pilot) finished the first round-the-world solar flight, powered only by the sun with no fuel or polluting emissions. After 17 months since the first departure in March 2015 in Abu Dhabi (UAE), they landed at its original take-off point at this morning, 26 July at 02:05 CET (00:05 UTC, 04:05 Local Time). Since the beginning of the adventure, FAI has received 19 world record claims from the Solar Impulse Team.

“Who could have once imagined that FAI World Records would be set by electric airplanes producing their own energy with the sun and flying around the Earth without fuel. This is the magic of aviation: to innovate, inspire, surprise, and push us always further for the benefit of humankind. May everyone now implement on the ground the same pioneering spirit of clean technologies for a better quality of life,” Dr. Bertrand Piccard stated.

André Borschberg added: “It seems clear today that electrical propulsion has a great future in the aviation industry, simply thanks to its incredible energy efficiency. Setting firsts and breaking records of course help to demonstrate the potential of new technologies and solutions.”

FAI is currently waiting for the confirmation details of the last flight, including world record notifications. The current records achieved and claims received by the Solar Impulse 2 Team are listed below:


Flight Around The World


2016-07-26 Solar Impulse Team Performance 
17885 C-d VI

Speed over a recognised course

72,2 km/h

2016-07-13 André Borschberg Claim received



Distance along Course,
pre-declared waypoints

5’850 km


Bertrand Piccard Claim received
17869 C-d VI


8'535 m


Bertrand Piccard Claim received
17870 C-d VI Distance 5'739 km 2016-06-23 Bertrand Piccard Claim received
17875 C-d VI Speed over a recognised course 80,6 km/h 2016-06-23 Bertrand Piccard Claim received
17838 C-d VI Altitude 7'315 m 2016-05-13 Bertrand Piccard Claim received
17839 C-d VI Distance 1'537.5 km 2016-05-13 Bertrand Piccard Claim received
17840 C-d VI Speed over a recognised course 84 km/h 2016-05-13 Bertrand Piccard Claim received
17830 CS

Distance along a course,

pre-declared waypoints

3'927 km 2016-04-24 Bertrand Piccard Claim received
17831 CS Absolute altitude 9'420 m 2016-04-24 Bertrand Piccard Claim received
17832 CS Gain of height 8'919 m 2016-04-24 Bertrand Piccard Under review
17593 CS

Straight distance,

pre-declared waypoints

6'449,8 km 2015-07-03 André Borschberg Current record
17594 CS Duration 117h 52min 2015-07-03 André Borschberg Current record
17595 CS Free Distance along a course 7'039.9 km 2015-07-03 André Borschberg Current record
17429 CS

Straight distance,

pre-declared waypoints

1'468 km 2015-03-10 Bertrand Piccard Current record

370 h 24 min. (15d 10h 24m)

*Class C-d VI: Electric – powered Aeroplanes
**Class C-S:Solar-powered Aeroplanes

The Solar Impulse 2 Route

Leg 1 Abu Dhabi (UAE) to Muscat (OMA) 13 hours 01 minute 772 km André Borschberg
Leg 2 Muscat (OMA) to Ahmedabad (IND) 15 hours 20 minutes 1'593 km Bertrand Piccard 
Leg 3 Ahmedabad (IND) to Varanasi (IND) 13 hours 15 minutes 1'170 km André Borschberg
Leg 4 Varanasi (IND) to Mandalay (MYA)  13 hours 29 minutes 1'536 km Bertrand Piccard 
Leg 5 Mandalay (MYA) to Chongqing (CHN) 20 hours 29 minutes 1'636 km Bertrand Piccard 
Leg 6 Chongqing (CHN) to Nanjing (CHN) 17 hours 22 minutes 1'384 km Bertrand Piccard 
Leg 7 Nanjing (CHN) to Nagoya (JPN) 44 hours 09 minutes 2'942 km André Borschberg 
Leg 8 Nagoya (JPN) to Hawaii (USA)  117 hours 52 minutes 8'924 km André Borschberg
Leg 9 Hawaii (USA) to San Francisco (USA) 62 hours 29 minutes 4'086 km Bertrand Piccard
Leg 10 San Francisco (USA) to Phoenix (USA) 15 hours 52 minutes 1'113 km André Borschberg
Leg 11 Phoenix (USA) to Tulsa (USA)  18 hours 10 minutes 1'570 km Bertrand Piccard 
Leg 12 Tulsa (USA) to Dayton (USA)  16 hours 34 minutes 1'113 km André Borschberg 
Leg 13 Dayton (USA) to Lehigh Valley (USA)  16 hours 49 minutes 1'044 km Bertrand Piccard 
Leg 14 Lehigh Valley (USA) to New York (USA)  04 hours 41 minutes 265 km André Borschberg 
Leg 15 New York (USA) to Seville (ESP)  71 hours 23 minutes 6'765 km Bertrand Piccard 
Leg 16 Seville (ESP) to Cairo (EGY)  48 hours 50 minutes 3'745 km André Borschberg 
Leg 17 Cairo (EGY) to Abu Dhabi (UAE)  48 hours 37 minutes 2'597 km Bertrand Piccard 

The epic journey started on 09 March 2015 when the Solar Impulse 2 took off the first time at 03:12 UTC from Abu Dhabi (UAE) and ended with the last touchdown today’s morning, 26 July 2016 on its original take-off point. On overall, it took the whole team 17 months for the circumnavigation, by landing in four continents, nine different countries, 16 stops in 16 destinations, over 42.000 km and over 555 hours of flight.

The longest leg, an 8.924 km flight from Nagoya in Japan to Hawaii, USA, lasted nearly 118 hours and saw Mr. Borschberg break the FAI World Record for longest (Duration) uninterrupted solo flight.

During this fantastic adventure the Si2 Team touched down at historically significant destinations, such as Dayton, which is considered to be the birthplace of the legendary Wright Brothers. Additionally, the aircraft has been flown by both alternating pilots above iconic landmarks such as the Statute of Liberty on the way to New York or Pyramids of Giza on the way to Cairo. Additionally, whilst being aboard, Piccard had live conversations with aviation entrepreneur Richard Branson and United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon as he was airborne over the Pacific Ocean on “Earth Day” (22 April 2016) when the Paris Climate Agreement was signed by over 175 nations.

FAI, the World Air Sports Federation, would like to congratulate the whole Team of Solar Impulse 2 on this extraordinary achievement of circumnavigating the globe without a drop of fuel.

  • High resolution pictures of the flights are available on Flickr