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The Solar Impulse 2 is scheduled to arrive at JFK International Airport in late spring or early summer of 2015 as part of its precedent setting ‘round the world’ flight. The experimental aircraft boasts a 236-foot wingspan – greater than that of a Boeing 747 – weighs 2.3 tons, and makes use of 17,248 solar cells. There will be no fossil fuels aboard the aircraft as it attempts to circumnavigate the globe.
“Eighty-eight years after Charles Lindbergh’s flight that began near JFK, we look forward to attempt the crossing of the Atlantic with the solar-powered plane starting from this iconic airport,” said Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg, pilots and co-founders of Solar Impulse.
According to the current itinerary, the Solar Impulse 2 will take off from Abu Dhabi, UAE in late February or early March and undertake a journey of approximately 10 legs, some of which could last more than five days and nights. The aircraft is scheduled to stop in Muscat, Oman; Ahmedabad and Varanasi, India; Mandalay, Myanmar; then Chongqing and Nanjing, China before crossing the Pacific Ocean via Hawaii. The plane will then traverse the continental United States stopping in three locations – Phoenix, a Midwest airport (to be determined), and New York City. From JFK, the plane will cross the Atlantic bound for locations in Southern Europe and/or North Africa before returning to Abu Dhabi, most likely in August.
“We are thrilled the Solar Impulse team is again honoring the Port Authority with a landing at JFK Airport on another historic mission,’’ said Port Authority Executive Director Pat Foye. “JFK has seen many aviation firsts in its seven-decade history, and we support Solar Impulse’s goal of highlighting the need to reduce reliance on fossil fuels throughout the world.”
Captain Piccard was the first to circumnavigate the globe alone in a balloon. Captain Borschberg served as the current project’s lead engineer; a pilot himself, Borschberg flew the final leg of Solar Impulse I’s voyage into JFK in 2013.
The two pilots will trade shifts in the single-seat cockpit as the Solar Impulse 2 crosses the globe. They expect to fly roughly 500 hours combined during the 22,000-mile journey.
The flight of the Solar Impulse 2 will coordinate with the Federal Aviation Administration. At present, the plane is scheduled to land at JFK Airport during non-peak travel hours to minimize inconvenience to commercial passengers.
For photos and more information on Solar Impulse 2’s historic flight, please visit: www.solarimpulse.com.
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The Diamondback Terrapins
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Port Authority Bus Terminal
Arrival of Solar Impulse at JFK