Aircraft

Solar impulse 2 wraps up flight across US with Statue of Liberty flyover

Solar impulse 2 wraps up fligh...
Solar Impulse 2 approaches the Statue of Liberty
Solar Impulse 2 approaches the Statue of Liberty
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Solar Impulse 2 approaches the Statue of Liberty
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Solar Impulse 2 approaches the Statue of Liberty
Solar Impulse 2 lands at JFK
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Solar Impulse 2 lands at JFK
Solar Impulse 2 with Manhattan in the background
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Solar Impulse 2 with Manhattan in the background

Solar Impulse 2 completed crossing the United States early Saturday with a flight over the Statue of Liberty and landing at New York's JFK airport. Next up on the solar-powered craft's around-the-world journey is a long flight across the Atlantic.

The flight from Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania was one of the shortest legs the team has made so far, lasting just over 5 hours and touching down at JFK before sunrise on the morning of June 11th at 3:59 a.m.

The overnight flight meant relatively quiet skies for some of the busiest airspace in the world. It also dictated that the one-man composite plane rely on power from its lithum batteries to fly over the Big Apple.

Solar Impulse 2 with Manhattan in the background
Solar Impulse 2 with Manhattan in the background

Solar Impulse 2 began circumnavigating the globe in March 2015 from Abu Dhabi. Following a very long and record-breaking Pacific Ocean crossing, it was grounded in Hawaii for months while damage caused by overheated batteries was addressed. After spending the winter there, the journey picked up where it left off in April of this year.

The craft will now cool off in a hangar while mission control in Monaco looks for a clear weather window to traverse the Atlantic. The takeoff date and flight path for that important next leg have yet to be determined, but possible destinations include Ireland, France, Portugal, Spain and Morocco.

You can watch highlights of the slow motion flight over multiple New York landmarks and the landing in the video below.

Solar Impulse Airplane - Leg 14 - Flight Lehigh Valley to New York

Source: Solar Impulse

5 comments
piperTom
To call this a "flight" is a stretch. A series of short hops, punctuated by days or weeks standing on the ground hardly even qualifies as a "trip". As a demonstration of the power of solar it falls flat; it shows quite the opposite.
teddilu
personally i agree and i think that the whole purpose of this enterprise was to advertise a (false) impracticality of solar flight. If you want to see something that works see on youtube Sunseeker flying over the Alps
habakak
Solar powered flight will never work. Even at 100% efficiency there simply is not enough surface area to power the vehicle. Considering all the logistics required and the outrageous cost to have gotten this far, it is a clear fail. Solar is not for flight (other than charging batteries with solar power and then using those batteries later in a small personal electric craft) and dreams of anything else is just that. Dreams.
Daishi
@habakak It sounds like you believe they charging the plane, flying it, and then landing to charge again. That is not the case. They are just making several stops in the US to meet and greet people and generate press. The plane actually charges during the day in flight with enough juice to fly through the night on battery alone and can stay in the air for weeks. It's not as fast but it can stay in the air longer than almost any fuel based manned plane. Solar is actually a fairly suitable tech for unmanned surveillance drones even right now.
Mickomarvel
Hey, piper, teddilu and habakak. What is it with so many posters on here, that you have to be so negative? From the Wright brothers flight till the maiden flight of the 747 was just a tad over 64 years. From the V2 rocket till the moon landing was 25 years and from the Altair 8800 till the iPad about 33 years. Who knows where this technology may lead? Not you and not I. It's an ongoing project and only fools predict where it may ultimately lead.