Solar Impulse Plane Completes First Cross Country Flight

By: | July 18th, 2013

We’ve been keeping a close eye on the Solar Impulse, an exciting new solar powered aircraft that has been undergoing several test flights over the last few months and it has now completed its first cross country flight.

It was a lengthy jaunt, taking two months, from Washington State on the west coast to New York’s JFK Airport. The plane travelled at 45mph and required several stopovers along the way but was ultimately successful in its efforts, which can pave the way for more innovations in solar powered transit.

The journey was not without incident however. An eight foot undertear was discovered on the plane that forced an early arrival landing at JFK, meaning the designers’ original plan to take a photograph of the Statue of Liberty mid-flight was abandoned.

Nevertheless, 12,000 solar cells on the wings and 800 batteries powered the innovative plane to its destination.

However, the Solar Impulse’s biggest challenge is ahead with the developers planning a global flight sometime in 2015, with much preparation needed ahead of this ambitious trek.

Jonathan Keane

Irish journalist writing on business, tech and engineering.


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