Solar plane sets distance record on US tour

May 23, 2013
The Solar Impulse plane takes off from Moffett Field in Mountain View, California, on May 3, 2013. The first manned aircraft that can fly day and night powered only by solar energy has set a new distance record after completing the second leg of a cross-country US tour.

The first manned aircraft that can fly day and night powered only by solar energy set a new distance record Thursday when it landed after the second leg of a cross-country US tour.

The project, founded and led by two Swiss pilots, aims to showcase what can be accomplished without , and has set its "ultimate goal" as an around-the-world flight in 2015.

Solar Impulse landed in Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas at 1:08 am (0608 GMT) after an 18 hour and 21 minute flight from Phoenix, Arizona, a distance of 1,541 kilometers (950 miles), organizers said in a statement.

"This leg was particularly challenging because of fairly strong winds at the landing. It also was the longest flight—in terms of distance—ever flown by a solar airplane," the plane's pilot Andre Borschberg said.

"You have to understand that the pilot needs to stay awake for more than 20 hours without any autopilot," added Borschberg, who holds the record for the longest solar-powered flight, at 26 hours.

The previous distance record was attained by Solar Impulse one year ago on a 1,116 kilometer (693 mile) flight from Switzerland to Spain.

The first leg of Solar Impulse's US tour took place on May 3, when Swiss aviator Bertrand Piccard flew the aircraft from the San Francisco, California area to Phoenix.

On the first leg the plane—which has a slim body and four electric engines attached to enormous wings—flew quietly at an of about 30 miles (49 kilometers) per hour.

The Solar Impulse's HB-SIA prototype flies over Phoenix Arizona, on May 22, 2013. The first manned aircraft that can fly day and night powered only by solar energy has set a new distance record after completing the second leg of a cross-country US tour.

Energy provided by 12,000 solar cells powered the plane's propellers.

The plane can fly at night by reaching a high elevation of 27,000 feet (8,230 meters) and then gently gliding downward, using almost no power until the sun comes up to begin recharging the .

The US itinerary allows for up to 10 days at each stop in order to showcase the plane's technology to the public. Another stop is planned in the US capital Washington before the trip concludes in New York in early July.

The stopovers will allow Piccard and Borschberg to share duties and rest between flights.

A dashboard showing the live speed, direction, battery status, solar generator and engine power, along with cockpit cameras of both Piccard and his view from the plane, are online at live.solarimpulse.com.

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User comments : 13

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neversaidit
5 / 5 (3) May 23, 2013
dare i say it.. Cpt Piccard?
VENDItardE
1 / 5 (10) May 23, 2013
waste of time and money
Neinsense99
2.9 / 5 (15) May 26, 2013
waste of time and money

You seem to have plenty of time and money to post negative, factless comments on every story related to sustainability or alternative energy.
MaiioBihzon
3.3 / 5 (21) Jun 04, 2013
Isn't this similar to how the automobile ~ or horseless carriage ~ started? Demonstrations, stunts, challenges? Now there are more cars out there than the number of citizens in many countries. The journey of a thousand miles begins, as they say, with a single step. And this is a pretty cool step these Swiss gentlemen have taken.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (13) Jun 04, 2013
Isn't this similar to how the automobile ~ or horseless carriage ~ started? Demonstrations, stunts, challenges? Now there are more cars out there than the number of citizens in many countries. The journey of a thousand miles begins, as they say, with a single step. And this is a pretty cool step these Swiss gentlemen have taken.
So you think that in 50 years there will be millions of solar-powered planes in the air then? As opposed to planes which could carry many passengers and freight and could go fairly fast that is?
MaiioBihzon
3.3 / 5 (21) Jun 05, 2013
Here's what I know: TheGhostofOtto1923 and/or Open have been following me around, assigning 1s to everything I post.

As for what I think, anyone who comes to this page who is capable of reading and saw my comment just read what I think.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1.3 / 5 (14) Jun 05, 2013
Here's what I know: TheGhostofOtto1923 and/or Open have been following me around, assigning 1s to everything I post.

As for what I think, anyone who comes to this page who is capable of reading and saw my comment just read what I think.
Perhaps the both of us think that some of your comments are not adequately well thought out? For instance why would you think that solar-powered planes equate in any way whatsoever with early autos?

How could something with the surface area of a plane ever be able to collect enough energy to enable it to provide the same level of performance that subarus and cessnas are capable of?

You want to profess something you ought to be willing and able to defend it. Or you should expect to get TRASHED. Versteht?
MaiioBihzon
3.3 / 5 (21) Jun 05, 2013
"Both of" you need to do a few things. Among them:

(1) read more closely and stop imposing meanings that aren't there;

(2) find a new hobby to replace your current obsession.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1.3 / 5 (14) Jun 05, 2013
(1) read more closely and stop imposing meanings that aren't there
Hmmm lets see... You said
Isn't this similar to how the automobile ~ or horseless carriage ~ started? Demonstrations, stunts, challenges? Now there are more cars out there than the number of citizens in many countries
-And the meaning that is pretty obviously there, is that solar planes (the topic) will become as plentiful as citizens in many countries.

About which I wondered
How could something with the surface area of a plane ever be able to collect enough energy to enable it to provide the same level of performance that subarus and cessnas are capable of?
So are you going to respond to the question or are you going to continue the empty pretense?
MaiioBihzon
3.3 / 5 (21) Jun 05, 2013
You have not paid attention to the context, and so you have chosen to impose your own meaning.

When both of you renounce your obsession with assigning my posts 1s, I will treat you like a regular human being and be happy to engage in conversation with you and answer questions.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1.3 / 5 (13) Jun 05, 2013
You have not paid attention to the context, and so you have chosen to impose your own meaning.

When both of you renounce your obsession with assigning my posts 1s, I will treat you like a regular human being and be happy to engage in conversation with you and answer questions.
And until then I will continue to expose every phony post you care to make. Fair enough?
Estevan57
3.4 / 5 (25) Jun 05, 2013
Nice work Otto, you deliberately misinterprete someone, try to ridicule them for allegedly supporting what YOU posted, and then downvote them when they respond. TROLL! TROLL! TROLL!

Since everyone knows you are lite and open and toot, why don't you just stop your bullshit?
MaiioBihzon
3.3 / 5 (21) Jun 05, 2013
Otto/Open/however-many-other-socks-you-are, I don't care. You spend an incredible amount of time tracking other members of this site for the infantile purpose of down-voting them. You obviously enjoy attempting to provoke others and creating conflict where there isn't any.

There is no conflict. Go on and continue to indulge your obsessions and personal issues, and post or vote however you want.