The solar-powered aircraft flying between Japan and Hawaii as part of a round-the-world bid passed the halfway point of the perilous Pacific Ocean crossing Wednesday, and smashed its own endurance record. Solar Impulse 2 had travelled 50 percent of the way to the tropical US state by 3am GMT (8:30am IST), having flown 3,887 kilometres (2,415 miles) with 3,848 kilometres more to go, according to the project.
By that time, the plane and its veteran Swiss pilot Andre Borschberg had logged 56 hours of continuous flight easily bettering the previous record of 44 hours they had set between China and Japan. "Already halfway through what is probably the flight of my life! Loving it!," Borschberg tweeted from the cockpit. The eighth leg of the global circumnavigation was expected to take five days and five nights, and was billed as the most difficult part of the adventure.
The experimental solar-powered aircraft left Japan around 6pm GMT (11:30pm IST) Sunday the early hours of Monday local time after spending a month in the central city of Nagoya.