Cross-Country Solar Plane Expedition

By: Category: EventsFly-inPHX

Solar Impulse Cross Country


Mountain View (CA), 02 May 2013 – On May 3rd Solar Impulse, the Swiss solar powered airplane, will depart from San Francisco with Bertrand Piccard in the single seater cockpit, to complete the first leg of its coast-to-coast flights across the USA: first stop will be Phoenix (AZ). It is the first time that a solar airplane capable of flying day and night without fuel, will attempt to fly across America. This journey is also the occasion to launch an initiative called “Clean Generation” to gather worldwide support for the adoption of clean technologies.

Flying Coast to Coast across the United States has always been a mythical endeavor in aviation history. Achieving this in a solar airplane capable of flying day and night without fuel, shows the enormous potential of clean technologies in terms of energy efficiency and renewable energy use. With this adventure, Solar Impulse wants to inspire and motivate as many people as possible to embrace the pioneering spirit that allowed this revolutionary solar-powered airplane to become a reality.

This is why thousands of people, amongst which James Cameron, Buzz Aldrin, Al Gore, Richard Branson, Elie Wiesel and Erik Lindbergh, are supporting the “Clean Generation” Initiative to encourage governments, businesses and decision-makers to push for the adoption of clean technologies and sustainable energy solutions. Concretely, The names of all those who will join this movement of pioneers will be carried in the cockpit of the airplane as virtual passengers. At every stopover city along the way, more and more names will be added onto the list.

All those interested in being part of this movement of influencers can sign up here:

About the first leg San Francisco – Phoenix
Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport will be Solar Impulse’s first stop. The airplane is expected to take off on Friday May 3rd at 6:00 am (PDT) from Moffett Field, NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View (CA), and land the following day around 1 am (MST) in Phoenix (AZ). Estimated flight duration is 19 hours.

Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg will alternately pilot the solar airplane to complete the challenge of flying without a drop of fuel across the USA from the West to the East Coasts. The first leg of the flight leading to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (AZ) will be completed by Bertrand Piccard. André Borschberg will fly for the last leg culminating in New York at JF Kennedy Airport.

Solar Impulse Moffett Field – Phoenix Sky Harbor route:
06:00 am PDT (03:00 pm Swiss Time): Take-off from Moffett Field, Mountain View (CA) USA
08:00 am PDT (05:00 pm Swiss Time): Heading south east towards Fresno – ascending to an altitude of 16’000 ft
01:30 pm PDT (10:30 pm Swiss Time): Passing Bakersfield continues direction Palmdale – cruising altitude 21’000 ft
04:30 pm PDT (01:30 am Swiss Time): Flying over Barstow – continue direction Arizona between Mojave National Preserve and Joshua Tree National Park
01:00 am MST (10:00 am Swiss Time): Estimated landing at Phoenix Sky Harbor (AZ) USA

The Solar Impulse Across America flight mission is made in partnership with Solvay, Schindler, Bayer Material Science, Swiss Re Corporate Solutions, Sunpower and the Swiss Confederation.

Track the Across America 2013 mission on the Internet via computer and mobile device During the Across America mission flights, each flight will be streamed live on as well as via Twitter and Facebook. The airplane’s position, altitude and speed will be shown live and cameras fitted inside the cockpit and at “Mission Control Center”, the mission’s nerve center, will allow you to experience the adventure live.

The “Across America” mission at a glance:

  • Early May 2013: First leg San Francisco/Moffett Airfield – Phoenix/Sky Harbor
  • Mid May 2013: Second leg Phoenix/Sky Harbor – Dallas/Fort Worth
  • End May – Early June 2013: Third leg Dallas/Fort Worth – St. Louis/Lambert Airport
  • Mid June 2013: Fourth leg St. Louis/Lambert Airport – Washington DC/Dulles
  • Early July 2013: Fifth and last leg Washington DC/Dulles – New York/JFK

About Solar Impulse
Swiss pioneers Dr Bertrand Piccard (Chairman) and André Borschberg (CEO) are the founders, pilots and the driving force behind Solar Impulse, the first airplane that can fly day and night without fuel. Solar Impulse is a unique adventure that aims to bring emotions back at the heart of scientific exploration, a flying laboratory to find innovative technological solutions for today’s challenges and a vision to inspire each of us to be pioneers in our everyday lives.

This revolutionary carbon fibre airplane has the wingspan of a Boeing 747 (63.4m / 208 ft) and the weight of a small car (1,600kg / 3,527 lb). It is the result of seven years of intense work, calculations, simulations and tests by a team of about 80 people and 100 partners and advisors. A plane so big and light has never been built before. The 12,000 solar cells built into the wing provide four 10HP electric motors with renewable energy. By day the solar cells recharge the 400kg / 881 lb lithium batteries which allow the plane to fly at night.

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