Solar Impulse is making another trip on its journey across the United States as it gets ever so closer to completing its goal of traveling around the globe on nothing but emissionless solar power from the Sun.
After landing in Ohio this week, Solar Impulse has just taken off from the ground on Wednesday and is now headed for Pennsylvania. Within 17 hours of the launch, Solar Impulse should reach its destination and come to a safe landing.
After it gets there, it will reportedly be positioned so it can make the journey to New York, which will be its last landing ground in the United States before it takes off for another continent.
The solar-powered aeroplane went on a long 9-month hiatus last year because it was stranded in Hawaii for repairs related to powering the aircraft. Since then, repairs were made and weather conditions have improved.
Solar Impulse has been all over the United States across multiple stops, and is getting closer to the Atlantic Ocean where it will eventually make the trek to Europe.
The goal is to ultimately land the solar-powered airplane back in its place of origin in the United Arab Emirates, but it takes short breaks in between its flights to let the batteries charge and so the pilot can take a break.
The batteries are charged by a grand total of 17,000 photovoltaic panels that absorb energy from the Sun, both while docked and while flying. During the day, this power source can sustain plane speeds of 60 miles per hour, but at night when battery power is the only thing available, plane speeds are throttled to 30 miles per hour to make travelling more power efficient.
Timing the approach to the Atlantic Ocean is critical. Weather and timing are essential because the aeroplane is extremely light and some bad weather could really spell out a bad day for the aircraft and its pilot.
It’s estimated that the aeroplane will arrive in New York sometime next week and the real journey can begin.