After the San Francisco (California) to Phoenix (Arizona) and Phoenix to Dallas (Texas) flights, Solar Impulse is now ready for the third leg of its Across America Mission, from Dallas to St. Louis (Missouri). Take-off is scheduled for today 4am local time (11am Swiss time) and landing for tomorrow 1am local time (8am Swiss time).
The solar-powered plane, alternatively piloted by Swiss pilots Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg, will be flown this time by Piccard, who will achieve, with a planned 21 hour flight, his longest flight in the single-seat to date.
The Solar Impulse team is facing yet another challenge in this third leg: the storms which struck Missouri on Friday rendered inoperable the Solar Impulse's hangar at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport. Fortunately this situation will be remedied with the use of Solar Impulse's own inflatable hangar to park the aircraft. Conceived and designed by the Solar Impulse team for the world tour of 2015, this structure will be used for the very first time in real conditions.
3 May 2013: First leg San Francisco/Moffett Airfield – Phoenix/Sky Harbor
22 May 2013: Second leg Phoenix/Sky Harbor – Dallas/Fort Worth
3 June 2013: Third leg Dallas/Fort Worth – St. Louis/Lambert Airport
Mid June 2013: Fourth leg St. Louis/Lambert Airport – Washington DC/Dulles
Early July 2013: Fifth and last leg Washington DC/Dulles – New York/JFK
The Solar Impulse team has set up a programme called "Fly with us in the cockpit" to create an influential global movement to promote the use of clean technology. Anyone can have their name carried in the cockpit of the solar airplane flying across the United States and show their support for clean technology.
|Sub-Class||Type of Record||Performance||Date||Claimant||Status||Id|
|CS||Absolute altitude||9235 m||2010-07-08||André Borschberg (SUI)||ratified - current record||16042|
|CS||Duration||26 h 10 m 19 s||2010-07-08||André Borschberg (SUI)||ratified - current record||16044|
|CS||Gain of height||8744 m||2010-07-08||André Borschberg (SUI)||ratified - current record||16043|
|CS||Distance along a course, pre-declared waypoints||1487.6 km||2013-05-23||André Borschberg (SUI)||preliminary record claim received||16816|
|CS||Free Distance||1506.5 km||2013-05-23||André Borschberg (SUI)||preliminary record claim received||16817|
|CS||Straight distance, pre-declared waypoints||1099.3 km||2012-05-25||André Borschberg (SUI)||ratified - current record||16558|
|CS||Straight distance, pre-declared waypoints||1386.5 km||2013-05-23||André Borschberg (SUI)||preliminary record claim received||16815|
Photo credit: Solar Impulse | Revillard | Rezo.ch
The solar-powered airplane Solar Impulse, which departed yesterday 22 May from Phoenix, reached Dallas this morning, thus achieving a flight that might prove to be the longest flight ever made with 1’541 km.
With this performance André Borschberg, who piloted the plane in this 2nd leg of the Across America Mission, would supersede the record he himself established in 2012
All the data from the loggers must be now be provided by the Solar Impulse team to the National Aeronautics Association and then to the FAI for ratification. Observers from the FAI Amateur Built and Experimental Aircraft Commission (CIACA) were present in Dallas and at the Observation Centre in Payerne, Switzerland to collect the flight information. The Observers included CIACA President Alfons Hubmann.
“This leg was particularly challenging because of fairly strong winds at the landing. It also was the longest flight – in terms of distance - ever flown by a solar airplane. You have to understand that the pilot needs to stay awake for more than 20 hours without any autopilot” said André Borschberg, co-founder, CEO and pilot of Solar Impulse who still holds the record for the longest duration ever in a solar powered airplane with 26 hours.”