A Trans-Atlantic Flight Without Fuel: Solar Impulse Leaves New York On Ambitious Trip

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The Solar Impulse 2 aircraft has set off from Kennedy Airport, New York to cross the Atlantic, one of the toughest stages of its attempt to fly around the globe using solar energy.

Si2, the solar aircraft piloted by Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg, capable of flying day and night with no fuel, is expected to land at the Seville Airport in Spain on 23 June.

Piccard, will attempt to reach Seville in Spain in about 90 hours if weather conditions allow.

This latest stage of the 35,000km (22,000 mile) round-the-world journey is expected to last four days and four nights non-stop.

Maintenance flight performed by test pilot Markus Scherdel with Solar Impulse 2 in Hawaii, United States of AmericaIt is one of the most challenging legs of the Round-The-World Solar Flight, the goal of which is to show that the world can be run on clean technologies.

The flight was supposed to begin on Sunday but was delayed by bad weather.

Solar Impulse 2 has the wingspan of a jetliner and the weight of a minivan. It uses 17,000 solar cells to generate power — some of which is stored in lithium-ion batteries that help the plane stay aloft overnight.

It landed at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport on 11 June after a five-hour flight from Lehigh Valley in Pennsylvania.

The record attempt began on 9 March 2015 in Abu Dhabi, and has taken the aircraft across Asia and the Pacific to the United States.

“With this flight over the Atlantic, we are further demonstrating Bertrand’s vision that clean technologies work and can be applied everywhere. We can now make our world more energy efficient,” said André Borschberg, CEO, Co-Founder and Pilot of Solar Impulse.

“It’s not a question of technology anymore, it’s only a question of mindset: Solar Impulse is like a flying smart grid, and if we can make it work in an airplane, where we can’t cheat, we can make it work on the ground, in our cities, for our homes and for all applications.”

You can follow the journey, the 15th stage of the plane’s trek, via YouTube and Twitter.  

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