Solar Impulse Ends 10th Leg of Global Flight in Phoenix
Solar Impulse has landed in Phoenix, Arizona, after ending the first leg across the continental United States in its attempt to fly around the world.
It the zero-fuel aeroplane left Mountain View, California, at dawn on May 2 and landed 16 hours later in Goodyear, a suburb of Phoenix.
Solar Impulse was the 10th leg of its round the world quest.
Andre Borschberg was at the controls, having taken over from Bertrand Piccard.
Bertrand Piccard flew Solar Impulse to the West Coast of the US from Hawaii just over a week ago.
The latest stint was relatively short – 1,113 kilometers.
Solar Impulse’s take-off from the famous Moffett Airfield occurred at 05:03 PDT on May 2 and the plane landed in Phoenix at 20:55 PDT.
The team has traversed America before, in 2013. That crossing was undertaken in the prototype predecessor to the current aircraft.
Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg are aiming to get to New York by the start of June, to begin preparations for the big Atlantic crossing.
Solar Impulse started its circumnavigation of the globe in March of last year in Abu Dhabi.
The solar-powered plane flew over Oman, India, Myanmar and China before flying to Japan, from where it made a 5,545-mile passage to Hawaii.
That five-day and five-night journey set a record for the longest duration, non-stop, solo aeroplane flight.
It also resulted in damage to the plane’s batteries, forcing the team into some lengthy repairs.
Only when the days started stretching out again in the Northern Hemisphere could the team think about getting back in the air.
With 17,000 photovoltaic cells on its top surfaces, Solar Impulse gets all its energy from the sun.