Plane Powered by Solar Energy Completes Trek Across U.S.
July 9, 2013 12:24 AM
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It flew from San Francisco to New York
Planes make trips across the U.S. all the time. Nothing too special, right? Except a solar-powered one just traveled cross-country for the first time.
, which is a solar-powered plane, traveled from San Francisco in early May to John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. It finally landed at 11:09 p.m. last Saturday night.
What took the plane so long, you ask? It made stops in between San Francisco and New York in cities such as Phoenix, Dallas-Fort Worth, Dulles, St. Louis and Cincinnati.
The Solar Impulse is equipped with about 11,000 solar cells on a pair of jumbo wings. It would fly from early morning to late at night, collecting sunlight for a completely fuel-free flight. The aircraft would reach 30,000 feet off the ground at a top speed of 45 mph.
The Solar Impulse is about the size of a small car, running only on the power equivalent to a "small motorized scooter" according to
The Washington Post
While the plane successfully made it to New York, the flight wasn't perfect. An eight-foot tear on the lower left side of the wing occurred during the last leg of the trip, which was discovered in New Jersey. The Solar Impulse was supposed to pass the Statue of Liberty before landing, but issues with the tear caused the plane to have to land three hours early at JFK instead.
“It was a huge success for
,” said Andre Borschberg, pilot of the Solar Impulse. “The only thing that failed was a piece of fabric.”
This flight was a test before developing a more advanced version, which will make a trip around the world in 2015.
The Washington Post
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7/9/2013 6:30:29 AM
I think he might have been alluding to the fact that if they flew for 26 hours then they flew through the dark period as well, and if that is the case, then they could have just continued flying through the next daylight period.
So far as i'm concerned, the notion of them flying a solar powered plane across the USA is just a marketing spin. What they did was fly a solar powered plane from A to B and B to C and C to D and so on. A completely different "achievement" to having flown from SF to NY. Like saying i bent my legs, and i jumped from SF to NY, we'll just ignore the fact that i had to land and jump again many times in the process.
7/9/2013 10:13:03 AM
You've hit the nail on the head.
The title makes it seem like it was done in one trip.
7/11/2013 8:27:19 PM
Didn't they stop in multiple cities to give presentations about the plane/technology?
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