Environmental Protection

An Update on Solar Impulse

A press conference was held today to unveil Solar Impulse, the first solar-powered airplane capable of flying during the night and day, in the United States for the first time today. The plane will begin its flight across America in California, stopping in various cities, and ending its journey in New York.

Solar Impulse Pilots

In today’s press conference about Solar Impulse, a solar-powered plane, was the first time it had ever been on U.S. soil. The plane has been dismantled and transported in a cargo plane to California where it was then reassembled in time for the conference held at Moffett Air Field, NASA Ames Research Center, Mountain View, Calif. Beginning in May, Solar Impulse will begin its flight “Across America” from California to New York.

During its cross-country journey, the plane will be stopping at various U.S. cities in order to allow the two pilots to rest up. The first stop is scheduled to be in Phoenix, then Dallas. Other cities may be Atlanta, Nashville, and Washington, D.C., among others.

Solar Impulse weighs only 3,500 pounds and is capable of flying for very long periods of time, but the pilots like to stop at least every 24 hours in order to give themselves time to rest and reenergize. The longest flight the plane has accomplished so far was 26 hours across Switzerland, which is where the plane was created and built. When the pilots, Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg, were asked about certain weather conditions they fly under, they said that they like to fly in calm skies and try to avoid any turbulence they can. They also said that they take off at day and land at night to avoid such turbulence.

Solar Impulse marks a significant achievement in aviation and will take on a journey across the world in 2015. For more information, please click here.

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