Congratulations to Solar Impulse, the Swiss made aircraft powered solely by solar power, on successfully completing the first phase of its 2013 Across America mission by flying from San Francisco to Phoenix in less than 19 hours.
The single-seater plane took off on Friday, May 3 from Moffett Airfield near San Francisco, California, at 9:12 a.m. EDT (6:12 a.m. PDT) and landed at Phoenix’s Sky Harbor International Airport 18 hours and 18 minutes later.
The Solar Impulse can also fly in the night using on-board batteries charged by its solar panels.
The plane will fly across the continental US in a total of four more flights in May, June and July. The other four planned flights are from Phoenix to Dallas in mid-May. Dallas to St. Louis at the end of May, St. Louis to Washington, D.C. in June and Washington, D.C. to New York City in late June or early July.
The makers of Solar Impulse eventually aim to circumnavigate the globe in 2014 in 20–25 days.