Thursday, 09 May 2013 15:44
Solar Impulse has completed the first leg of its historic trip across the USA, flying from San Francisco, California to Phoenix, Arizona.
The solar-powered aircraft took off on 3 May from Moffett Field in Mountain View, California, around 09:00, and landed at Phoenix's Sky Harbor International Airport just after midnight the next day.
The aircraft was flown by test pilot Bertrand Piccard. Despite flying through the night, the aircraft landed with almost 75% of battery power remaining.
On the next leg of the journey, the aircraft will fly to Dallas, Texas. Subsequent flights will see the aircraft land in St. Louis, Missouri, Washington, DC and New York, New York.
The aircraft is powered by four engines, each capable of generating 10hp (7.46kW), which gain power from 11,600 solar cells set along its broad wing and horizontal stabilizer.
The Solar Impulse team is constructing a second aircraft for an anticipated 2015 flight circumnavigation of the globe, the first for a solar-powered aircraft.