Solar Impulse Safely Made It to Arizona

Image: Solar Impulse
Image: Solar Impulse

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 2,077 pounds of lithium battery, Solar Impulse 2 can cruise at a rather slow 88mph. So it’s still going to take a little while yet.

Contributing Editor at Gizmodo. An ex-engineer writing about science and technology.

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Just out of curiosity, has anyone check to see if they are charging any batteries with anything other than the solar panels while on the ground?

That would suck to have to start over because someone plugged it into a battery charger.