Cross-country solar powered flights begin May 1

The Solar Impulse can fly 24hours, using a combination of solar and storage cellsA full decade of work reaches its culmination on May 1st, when the Solar Impulse launches a tour across the US. The plane flies day and night on a combination of solar and storage cells.

Designers Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg didn't plan to revolutionize the avaition industry when they began this work in 2003, but intend to use this sleek and silent symbol to change our thinking about renewable energy.

Technical flights will begin on March 30 as a dress rehearsal, then the plane will travel between 7 US cities starting May 1, according to a press release received today:

Offical itinerary unveiled

The official itinerary of the 2013 Across America mission was unveiled by André and Bertrand today, Thursday March 28th, at Moffett Airfield in San Francisco. Depending on the weather conditions, a number of technical flights will take place from March 30th onward ensuring the last checks before the real thing, the coast-to-coast flight West to East, scheduled to start from May 1st.   

Solar Impulse engineers and technicians were quick at reassembling HB-SIA and thanks to the professional support from the Federal Aviation Administration, the elegant aircraft has been certified and authorized to fly through American skies.

In any case, HB-SIA is eager to absorb some California sunrays to fuel its discovery of the continental United States. The adventure will kick-off in San Francisco with stopovers in Phoenix (Arizona), Dallas (Texas), Atlanta (Georgia) or St. Louis (Missouri) on its way to Washington D.C. and New York City. The exact dates are of course undefined as every leg is dependent on local meteorological conditions.

The stopovers will be a great occasion to spread Solar Impulse’s message meant to inspire people. Only by challenging common certitudes can there be change and, through conferences on educational themes, Solar Impulse wishes to motivate everybody to become a pioneer in the search for innovative solutions for society’s biggest challenges.

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