Powered by Light

We had a wonderful opportunity to sketch Solar Impulse 2 (Si2) today during a public viewing at Kalaeloa Airport in Kapolei. Seeing the plane a second time (see our blog post of July 2015 for a report on our first encounter), we were again in awe of its size and extreme dimensions (did we mention the 236 ft. wing span?).

Unlike last year, the plane was fully assembled, with solar cells on display and the cockpit interior visible to the public. Informative placards and a promotional video related the challenges of flying around the world with only photons for fuel. The hangar was bustling with energy; viewers surrounded Si2 team members to learn about the flight and the plane, while members of the press dashed through the crowds to document the event.

For us sketchers, Si2 proved a difficult subject again. The extreme lateral dimensions of the plane required heavy use of thumbs and pencils for mapping purposes. The rounded, unconventional shapes of the body and cockpit proved tricky to capture too.

Talking to one of the Si2 team members we learned that the plane is scheduled to depart for its next leg (destination: Phoenix, AZ) as soon as the weather allows, but no earlier than April 15. Keep an eye on the news and the mission website to learn about the actual date. Takeoff will be early in the morning and should be quite a sight!

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As always, don’t forget to check out the day’s sketches on the USkO Flickr page.

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2 Comments on “Powered by Light”

  1. I’m sorry I didn’t have longer to sketch with you. That was amazing to see.

    Liked by 1 person


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