May 21, 2013
Across America 2013: Solar Impulse Prepares For Flight From Phoenix To Dallas
Lawrence LeBlond for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
The Solar Impulse team of Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg is preparing for the second leg of the Across America 2013 tour, which will see the zero-fuel HB-SIA airplane fly from Phoenix, Arizona to Dallas, Texas.
Piccard took the helm for the first leg of the journey on May 3, taking off from Moffett Field in Mountain View, California in the solar-powered aircraft. He left the runway shortly after 6:12 a.m. PDT and soared high above several landmarks on his way to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, landing at 12:30 a.m. PDT on May 4, after a little more than 18 hours in the sky.
For the second leg of the tour, Borschberg is set to take the controls. The flight is scheduled for a take-off at around 5:00 a.m. PDT, heading east towards Roswell, New Mexico and then on toward Abilene, Hobbs and then on to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, with a scheduled landing time at 1:00 a.m. on May 23, 2013.
If all goes as planned Borschberg will set the world record for longest flight in a zero-fuel airplane. The Phoenix-to-Dallas flight should be over 830 miles, significantly farther than the current record, which was also set by Borschberg when he piloted the Solar Impulse aircraft 693 miles from Switzerland to Spain in May, 2012.
“By achieving historical firsts and setting new records, Solar Impulse hopes to inspire everyone to be pioneers and change-makers to bring solutions for today's challenges. Clean Generation, Solar Impulse's latest initiative to create a global movement to promote the use of clean technology, is already rallying thousands of people to support the adoption of sustainable energy solutions. The names of those who join this movement are carried on a USB key kept in the cockpit and transported across America as virtual passengers,” said the Solar Impulse team in an emailed statement to redOrbit.
The Solar Impulse team is carrying custom-designed flags displaying the Clean Generation slogan, handing one off to civic leaders at each stop during the Across America 2013 tour. The flags are meant to encourage citizens, CEOs and policymakers to adopt green technology and follow in Solar Impulse´s footsteps as pioneering spirits of clean energy.
In Phoenix, the Clean Generation flag was handed to Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, who visited Solar Impulse at Phoenix Sky Harbor during a dinner organized by the Swiss consulate.
Once Borschberg arrives in Dallas-Fort Worth, the Solar Impulse team will rest for a few weeks before the third stage of the flight carries on. Piccard will be at the helm again for the third leg, flying from Dallas to St. Louis, Missouri.
The Solar Impulse Across America 2013 mission is made possible by support from partners including Solvay, Schindler, Bayer Material Science, Swiss Re Corporate Solutions, Sunpower and the Swiss Confederation.
Although the flight has been confirmed, the team may still need to make last minute adjustments and could postpone the flight shortly or alter the route before take-off.
The flight may be tracked on the Internet via computer and mobile connectivity and each leg of the journey will be streamed live on the Solar Impulse website as well as via Twitter and Facebook.
People interested in being a part of the Solar Impulse Clean Generation movement can sign up at solarimpulse.com.