While a flyby of the Statue of Liberty had to be canceled due to a rip in the left wing, the solar-powered Solar Impulse plane has successfully finished its journey across the United States, landing at JFK International Airport in New York City on July 6.
The coast to coast series of flights kicked off in San Francisco in May, with stopovers in Phoenix, Arizona; Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas; St. Louis, Missouri; and Washington, DC. During the transcontinental mission, the single-seat HB-SIA prototype plane was piloted by CEO and co-founder of Solar Impulse, André Borschberg, and at other times by Bertrand Piccard, the company's president and initiator.
The 11,628 solar cells that cover HB-SIA charge its 900 lb (400 kg) of lithium-ion batteries, which allow the plane to fly night. During the Phoenix to Dallas leg of the mission, the plane set a new world record for absolute distance traveled during a solar-powered flight--958 miles (1,541km).
Across America marks the last mission for the HB-SIA craft. This particular prototype has made great strides over the past few years, from a 24-hour flight in 2010 to an intercontinental journey in 2012. Solar Impulse's future plans involve finishing a larger, two-seat prototype to complete a flight around the world, currently scheduled between April and July 2015.
via: BBC News
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