Solar Impulse Safely Makes it to Arizona

By Jamie Condliffe on at

After restarting its bid to fly around the world last week, the team behind the all-electric solar-powered airplane Solar Impulse has now made it from California to Arizona.

This 16-hour flight was short compared to the previous leg of trip, which saw the craft travel for 62 hours across the Pacific Ocean. The airplane was flown by Andre Borschberg, who alternates pilot duties with Bertrand Piccard. The flight went without a hitch, but high winds did mean that the airplane effectively stood at a standstill at points.

Now the rest of the journey remains: on to New York, Europe or North Africa, and then finally Abu Dhabi, where the attempt started. With 17,000 solar panels on the airplane’s wing to charge 940 kilos of lithium battery, Solar Impulse 2 can cruise at a rather slow 88mph. So it’s still going to take a little while yet.