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Solar-Powered Plane Completes Historic First Flight Across US To JFK

Solar Impulse crew at JFK

Solar Impulse, the solar-powered plane that has been attempting an historic first journey across the United States, has completed the final leg successfully at JFK in New York.

The Solar Impulse crew has flown the plane from San Francisco, to Phoenix, to Dallas, to St Louis, to Washington D.C., and finally to New York City.

Solar Impulse on approach to JFK

The innovative solar plane is powered by over 11,000 solar cells on it huge wings. Even though solar-powered, the plane is able to fly during the day or night, only powered by energy from the sun.

Solar Impulse pilot Andre Borschberg has said that the plane performed well, except for a piece of fabric that tore in the left wing on the final few hours of the journey. This was unrelated to being powered by solar. The plane landed three hours early, after originally planning to do a Statue of Liberty fly-by. The last leg of the long journey involved a flight over Maryland, Delaware, and New Jersey.

As you can see from the images, the Solar Impulse runs on four propellers, and there are batteries on board to store energy from the solar panels. It’s the first solar plane to be able to operate during day and night.

The Solar Impulse will be available for public viewing at JFK International Airport on Saturday July 13 from 3:30pm to 7:30 pm, and Sunday July 14th from 11am to 7:30pm. No doubt that will be a popular event. If you are interested, you can register here.

Solar Impulse - final leg to New York

Images: Solar Impulse

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