The aircraft is already in the U.S. It was first disassembled at its home base in Payerne, Switzerland, then loaded aboard a Boeing 747 cargo plane on February 20th. That 747 landed at Moffett Airfield in San Francisco the following day, where the HB-SIA is now being carefully reassembled. Test flights will be conducted around the San Francisco area next month.
The schedule of the Solar Impulse Across America mission is as follows:
- Beginning May 1st/First leg: San Francisco/Moffett Airfield - Phoenix/Sky Harbor
- Mid May/Second leg: Phoenix/Sky Harbor - Dallas/Fort Worth
- End May - early June/Third leg: Dallas/Fort Worth - stopover city (Atlanta, Georgia or St. Louis, Missouri – to be determined)
- Mid June/Fourth leg: stopover city - Washington DC/Dulles
- Early July/Fifth and last leg: Washington DC/Dulles - New York/JFK
According to Solar Impulse, “It will be the first time that an airplane, capable of flying 24 hours non-stop day and night powered exclusively by solar energy, will fly across America.” It won’t be the first time that a solar-powered aircraft of any type has crossed the country, as the Sunseeker I flew from Southern California to Kitty Hawk, North Carolina in 1990.
More information on the Across America mission is available in the video below.
Source: Solar Impulse