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Natural Awakenings Metro Phoenix & Northern Arizona

Solar Airplane Stopping in Phoenix on World Record Flight

May 27, 2015 02:30PM

Swiss pioneers Bertrand Piccard (chairman) and André Borschberg (CEO) are the founders, pilots and driving force behind Solar Impulse, the first aircraft able to fly day and night without a drop of fuel, propelled solely by the sun’s energy. With the Si2 aircraft, they are attempting the first round-the-world solar flight.

The Si2 flight took off from Abu Dhabi, on March 9. After crossing the Pacific Ocean via Hawaii, Si2 will fly across the U.S., stopping in Phoenix, the Midwest and New York City. The plan is to arrive at Sky Harbor International airport, in Phoenix, by mid/end of May, depending on weather.

The solar cells recharge four lithium polymer batteries totaling 633 kg each, which allow the aircraft to fly at night, and therefore have virtually unlimited autonomy. Supported by main partners Solvay, Omega, Schindler, ABB and official partners Google, Altran, Bayer MaterialScience, Swiss Re Corporate Solutions, Swisscom and Moët Hennessy, this historic first aims at demonstrating that clean technologies can achieve the impossible.

For more information, visit SolarImpulse.com.

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