On Monday, Solar Impulse 2, the solar-powered airplane that is working its way around the world in small incremental steps, took off from California and set its nose in the direction of Arizona.
Now, Solar Impulse has successfully made it to Phoenix, Arizona and experienced a safe landing.
The solar-powered plane, which had a 9-month delay due to power issues last year, was stranded in Hawaii until this year while it received important repairs. After being repaired, it was just a matter of waiting until good weather showed up.
Those involved with the Solar Impulse project are happy to see it back in action once again and to have the honor of demonstrating that solar energy has come a long way.
The landing in Arizona concludes the solar-powered aircraft’s 10th trip since its original take-off from the United Arab Emirates in May of 2015. There are still a few more trips to make before it’ll get back to its place of origin.
Powered by 17,000 photovoltaic cells, which feed on the Sun’s endless solar power, a massive battery array powers the aircraft and keeps the propellers spinning as the pilot, André Borschberg, takes his time completing his around-the-world circuit.
The makers of the Solar Impulse 2 project note that this kind of technology isn’t ready yet for any kind of commercial use and that this is really only for demonstration purposes only. The current project only has one passenger, and electrical motors aren’t as powerful or fast as traditional jet engines.
If it succeeds on its mission, Solar Impulse 2 will be the first solar-powered aircraft to ever fly all the way around the globe.
Source: Fox News, Live Science