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Solar Impulse Airplane first Flight across America

The Solar Impulse, the world’s first airplane to fly both day and night without fuel, powered entirely by energy harvested from the sun, will soon take off from Moffett Field — kicking off the first leg of its cross-country tour. Depending on the weather conditions, a number of technical flights will take place from March 30th onward ensuring the last checks before the real flight West to East, scheduled to start from May 1st.

The plane has a wingspan equivalent to a 747 jetliner,less than an Airbus A340 (208 feet), the weight of a small car (3,527 pounds), and the power needs of a small scooter.

comparing solar impulseThe 11,548 solar panels across its wings harness power from the sun during the day, and lithium-polymer batteries store that energy for overnight trips. A carbon-fiber material formed in a honeycomb structure makes up the bulk of the plane, which allows for its feather-weight.
Borschberg and co-pilot Bertrand Piccard have spent 10 years designing the plane.

The official itinerary of this flight across America, from coast to coast, was unveiled by the creators Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg on last Thursday, during a press conference at Moffett Airfield in San Francisco.

america flight itinerary

The adventure will kick-off in San Francisco with stopovers in Phoenix (Arizona), Dallas (Texas), Atlanta (Georgia) or St. Louis (Missouri) on its way to Washington D.C. and New York City, where it will land in early July, if all goes according to plan. The exact dates are of course undefined as every leg is dependent on local meteorological conditions.

The team’s ultimate goal is to fly around the world in 2015!

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13 Comments on “Solar Impulse Airplane first Flight across America”

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