AWSI – Solar-Powered Plane Reignites Pioneering Spirit

Our buddy St. X was very excited when Tommie told him this news.

Late Saturday evening (at 11:09 pm Eastern Time / 23:09 hours) the Solar Impulse, a solar-powered aircraft, completed the final leg of a history-making cross-country flight, gliding to a smooth stop at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport.

Solar Impulse glides over Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco

Powered by some 11,000 solar cells on its oversized wings, the revolutionary plane,the original original flight plan for t , had called for it to pass the Statue of Liberty before landing early Sunday at New York. But an unexpected tear discovered on the left wing of the aircraft Saturday afternoon forced officials to scuttle the fly-by and proceed directly to JFK for a landing three hours earlier than scheduled.

“Flying coast-to-coast has always been a mythical milestone full of challenges for aviation pioneers,” said Bertrand Piccard, one of the pilots who took turns flying the Solar Impulse across the United States. “During this journey, we had to find solutions for a lot of unforeseen situations, which obliged us to develop new skills and strategies. In doing so, we also pushed the boundaries of clean technologies and renewable energies to unprecedented levels.”

Not a Exactly a Speed Demon:

The aircraft soars to 30,000 feet while poking along at a top speed of 45 mph. Most of the 11,000 solar cells are on the super-long wings that seem to stretch as far as a jumbo jet’s. It weighs about the size of a small car, and soars with what is essentially the power of a small motorized scooter.

solar_impulseDiagram

As one of his founders often likes to say, “Solar Impulse was not built to carry passengers, but messages”!

And their primary objective was to show that today’s technological innovations can achieve incredible things, like flying day and night powered only by solar energy without using any fuel, nor producing polluting emissions.

20130706_AcrossAmerica_FinalLeg_FlightWashingtonDCNewYork_take-off_revillard-04

On their website, they state the Solar Impulse is first and foremost an extraordinary human and scientific adventure that brings emotions back at the heart of scientific exploration; a revolutionary innovation conceived to be a unique flying laboratory for clean technologies; a vision driven by the pioneering spirit behind all great human adventures; an experimental journey to inspire others to be pioneers and innovators in their everyday life.

The Solar Impulse left San Francisco in early May and has made stopovers in Phoenix, Dallas-Fort Worth, St. Louis, Cincinnati and Dulles before landing in New York City.

Here are some cool videos.

Stay curious my friends!

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