Solar airplane begins journey across the continental US

Solar Impulse 2 left Silicon Valley for Phoenix, beginning its cross-US flight to New York

Solar Impulse 2, a pioneering solar-powered aircraft attempting to fly around the world without burning a single drop of fuel, set off early Monday for the U.S. coast-to-coast leg of its flight.

The aircraft departed Moffett Field in Silicon Valley at 5:30 a.m. local time bound for Phoenix, where it is expected to land at around 9 p.m. Solar Impulse 2 had been in California for just over a week after arriving from Hawaii.

The goal of the flight is to highlight and promote clean energy.

The aircraft is powered by solar energy, gathered from thousands of solar panels that blanket the top of the aircraft. They charge up four batteries with enough power to keep the aircraft in the air day or night.

Theoretically, it could stay aloft for months at a time, but the needs of the human pilot mean flights are limited to no more than a couple of days. On the journey from Hawaii to California, pilot Bertrand Piccard flew Solar Impulse 2 for almost three straight days, catching 20-minute naps in the cramped cabin during the flight.

The journey began in Abu Dhabi last summer and has seen the aircraft traverse Asia and across the Pacific to Hawaii. A problem with the battery charging system delayed its departure from Hawaii and, by the time it was fixed, the team decided to wait until the better spring weather to resume the flight.

From Phoenix, the aircraft will fly across the U.S. to New York, making stops at cities on a route yet to be determined. From New York, it will cross the Atlantic to either southern Europe or northern Africa before arriving back in Abu Dhabi sometime in the middle of 2016.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Martyn Williams

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?