Press Release Article


Date: Jan 20, 2015
Press Release Number: 8-2015

Solar Impulse 2 to follow in the flight path of Solar Impulse I, which landed at JFK in 2013 to end inaugural trans-America solar-powered flight

Solar Impulse 2, which this spring will undertake the world’s first solar-powered around-the-world aircraft flight, will stop at John F. Kennedy International Airport along its route likely in May or June, officials with the Port Authority and the experimental aircraft announced today.

In July 2013, Solar Impulse made history with pilots Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg taking turns at the controls to complete the first U.S.-cross-country voyage by a solar-powered plane with a final landing at JFK Airport on a trip that began in San Francisco and hop-scotched across the nation.

The experimental aircraft will take off from Abu Dhabi, UAE in late February or early March for a journey of approximately 10 legs – some lasting more than five days and nights — that is expected to last until August before ending back in Abu Dhabi.

"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."

"Flying by relying strictly on solar power is truly one of the great pioneering efforts in aviation and the Port Authority is proud to be an important partner in this mission by providing a runway at JFK Airport," said Deb Gramiccioni. "We salute the Solar Impulse team as it readies for a trip that will capture the public’s imagination worldwide."

"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.

The flight will be handled in coordination with the Federal Aviation Administration and scheduled for a non-peak travel time at JFK Airport to minimize inconvenience to commercial passengers.

Piccard, who was the first to circumnavigate the globe alone in a balloon, and Borschberg, the team’s lead engineer who flew the final leg of Solar Impulse I’s voyage into JFK in 2013, again will take turns sharing the solo duties in the single-seat cockpit. They expect to fly roughly 500 hours combined during their 22,000-mile journey.

Solar Impulse 2 will take-off from Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates, in late February or early March and return by late July or early August 2015. The route includes stops in Muscat, Oman; Ahmedabad and Varanasi, India; Mandalay, Myanmar; and Chongqing and Nanjing, China. After crossing the Pacific Ocean via Hawaii, the aircraft will fly across the continental United States stopping in three locations – Phoenix, and New York City at JFK. A location in the Midwest will be decided dependent on weather conditions. After crossing the Atlantic, the final legs include a stop-over in Southern Europe or North Africa before arriving back in Abu Dhabi.

Boasting a 236-foot wingspan – larger than that of a Boeing 747, Solar Impulse 2 is larger than its predecessor, weighing 2.3 tons and containing 17,248 solar cells. There will be zero fossil aboard the plane.

Solar flight, in its early stages, is neither quick nor easy.

The team comprises some 130 members and the ability to fly requires enough daylight sunshine to provide enough power for the plane’s lithium batteries to provide power though the night’s flying hours. Preparation for the major flights has required years of tests and fund-raising to cover costs from major corporations around the world.

For photos and more information on Solar Impulse 2’s historic flight, go to

For the most recent videos,

Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

Founded in 1921, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey builds, operates, and maintains many of the most important transportation and trade infrastructure assets in the country. The agency's network of aviation, ground, rail, and seaport facilities is among the busiest in the country, supports more than 550,000 regional jobs, and generates more than $23 billion in annual wages and $80 billion in annual economic activity. The Port Authority also owns and manages the 16-acre World Trade Center site, where the 1,776-foot-tall One World Trade Center is now the tallest skyscraper in the Western Hemisphere. The Port Authority receives no tax revenue from either the State of New York or New Jersey or from the City of New York. The agency raises the necessary funds for the improvement, construction or acquisition of its facilities primarily on its own credit. For more information, please visit

About Solar Impulse

Swiss pioneers Bertrand Piccard (President) and André Borschberg (CEO) are the founders and pilots of Solar Impulse, the first aircraft able to fly day and night without fuel or polluting emissions. They are attempting  the first solar flight around the world this year. Supported by corporate partners, Solar Impulse is attempting to make history in both the worlds of exploration and renewable energies. Solar Impulse is also an airborne laboratory, making way for innovative technological solutions capable of meeting today’s challenges head on.

Web Site Disclaimer    |    Privacy Statement
© 2001-CurrentYear The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. All Rights Reserved.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
(212) 435-7000  •  4 World Trade Center, 150 Greenwich Street, New York, NY 10007