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 newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
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

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Bitdefender 2019

This Holiday Season, protect yourself and your loved ones with the best. Buy now for Holiday Savings!

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?