Aircraft

Phoenix bound: Solar Impulse 2 begins 10th leg of round-the-world flight

Phoenix bound: Solar Impulse 2...
Solar Impulse 2 has taken off on the tenth leg of its round-the-world journey
Solar Impulse 2 has taken off on the tenth leg of its round-the-world journey
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Pilot André Borschberg getting ready to begin the 10th leg of the Solar Impulse Round the World adventure
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Pilot André Borschberg getting ready to begin the 10th leg of the Solar Impulse Round the World adventure
Mission Control Center in Monaco making final preparations for the take-off
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Mission Control Center in Monaco making final preparations for the take-off
Solar Impulse 2 has taken off on the tenth leg of its round-the-world journey
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Solar Impulse 2 has taken off on the tenth leg of its round-the-world journey
Solar Impulse 2 flying over the continental United States
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Solar Impulse 2 flying over the continental United States
Solar Impulse 2 lines up for take-off from runway 32L at Moffett Airfield
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Solar Impulse 2 lines up for take-off from runway 32L at Moffett Airfield

A little over a week after pilot Bertrand Piccard touched down at Moffett Airfield in Mountain View, California, Solar Impulse 2 has taken off again. This time the aircraft has André Borschberg in command and will head toward Phoenix Goodyear in Arizona.

Borschberg is of course the pilot who took solar-powered flyer from Japan to Hawaii last year on the eighth leg of the round-the-world journey. That trip took almost 118 hours and covered 4,480 miles (7,209 km), setting new records but also sustaining catastrophic battery damage that was to keep it on the ground until April 21, when it took to the air and headed for Silicon Valley.

The single-pilot aircraft took off today from runway 32L at Moffett Airfield at 5:03 am local time on the tenth leg of its round-the-world voyage, which began in Abu Dhabi in the Persian Gulf in March 2015.

Solar Impulse 2 lines up for take-off from runway 32L at Moffett Airfield
Solar Impulse 2 lines up for take-off from runway 32L at Moffett Airfield

"We are now continuing the adventure across the United States, with the ambition to show everyone along the way, that if an airplane can fly day and night without fuel, we could all use these same clean technologies on the ground to develop new industrial markets and stimulate economic growth, while also protecting the environment," said Bertrand Piccard.

The flight is estimated to take around 16 hours, adding 720 miles (1,157 km) to the clock. Phoenix is something of a revisit for Solar Impulse 2, having made a stop there during its Across-America marathon in 2013. After a brief stay in Arizona, the next stop will be New York.

Source: Solar Impulse

2 comments
Lbrewer42
"we could all use these same clean technologies on the ground to develop new industrial markets and stimulate economic growth," Yes... the volumes of caustic chemicals in batteries are clean... right? As for the "greenhouse gases" argument - see the end of this post... It obviously is true that when you have enough surface area on a vehicle, it can fly without burning fuel, and can be recharged by sunlight. If we made our cars each this large, we may also be able to have a one person vehicle on the ground (maybe?). Let's not go the greenhouse gasses road either. Do the homework - CO2 is NOT a greenhouse gas that holds in heat. The CO2 in a greenhouse is USED UP by the plants in photosythesis - the plants give off water vapor and O2. The greenhouse is designed to trap the water vapor (humidity) b/c water vapor holds in the heat. This is basic High school (and lower levels) science. 1980s politicians: Hmmm... how can we force the populace to pay for emissions testing since their cars do not give off water vapor... hmmm.. Hey! Cars give off CO2, and so do ALL fossil fuel sources when burned. Let's call CO2 a greenhouse gas (people associate CO2 with plants) and tell them they are damaging the environment so we need to fine them. They will fall for it!
BartyLobethal
Lbrewer42, your twisted little anti-science fantasy must also include the 'faking-up' of Svante Arrhenius, the Swedish Physicist and Chemist who described the absorption and re-emission of infra-red radiation by CO2 in 1896.