The final celebratory flight of HB-SIA, the solar airplane affectionately known as Solar Impulse, is scheduled to take place on July 6. The date and time may change due to weather, so check back in here on CleanTechnica, as we’ll continue to publish the latest news from Solar Impulse.
The solar-powered airplane of Swiss pioneers Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg will fly to New York for the fifth and last leg of its Across America mission flights on Saturday, July 6. It is the culmination of an epic journey which began on May 3 in San Francisco. Piccard and Borschberg have taken turns in the single-seat cockpit with stopovers in Phoenix, Dallas, St. Louis, and Cincinnati.
With André Borschberg at the controls, Solar Impulse will take off from Washington Dulles International Airport at around 5 am EDT with an estimated landing time in New York John F. Kennedy International Airport at 2 am EDT on Sunday, July 7. This final leg marks the historic achievement of the Coast-to-Coast Across America flights, which started May 3 in San Francisco, with an airplane capable of flying day and night without fuel, powered exclusively by solar energy.
Solar Impulse’s ambitious journey Across America pushes energy efficiency to an unprecedented level and serves to inspire people and governments worldwide to make a broader use of clean technologies. During its visit to Solar Impulse at Washington Dulles International Airport on June 17, Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz welcomed these accomplishments and emphasized how Solar Impulse aligns with the four Department of Energy priorities which are solar, energy storage, energy efficiency, and advanced materials.
Track the Across America 2013 mission on the Internet via computer and mobile device. During the live-streaming of the Washington–New York flight, the airplane’s position, altitude, and speed will be shown in real time, while cockpit and mission control cameras allow viewers to experience the journey. Follow it live on solarimpulse.com as well as on Twitter and Facebook.
There will be several other ways for the public to witness these unique moments:
- Landing contest: New York City residents can sign up and might get a once in a lifetime opportunity to be among 50 lucky ones able to greet Solar Impulse as it lands in JFK. A draw has been launched on the Solar Impulse website: people can sign up on http://solarimpulselandingnyc.eventbrite.com/ until Thursday, July 4 at midnight EDT and try to have their name picked to witness these unique moments.
- Google live broadcast link: Google.com will include a link on its homepage directing viewers on a dedicated Google page including information about Solar Impulse’s last mission flight and project, and links to the Solar Impulse homepage live broadcast and YouTube channel.
- Google Hangout On Air with Solar Impulse pilots moderated by Jason Paur (Wired). Featuring several participants including Erik Lindbergh, the grandson of Charles Lindbergh and the American jazz pianist ELEW. Can be followed live here: https://plus.google.com/b/105019486613513866748/events/c90spdsf71k6qlkb3dcjdd1toak
- Spot the plane:Everyone is encouraged to spot Solar Impulse from the ground as it flies above several iconic city areas, including the Statue of Liberty, starting from 12 am on Sunday, July 7.
Solar Impulse in Washington D.C.
In Washington DC, Solar Impulse presented Clean Generation, its latest initiative for the global adoption of clean technologies to key decision makers at the White House and Capitol Hill. Before that, it has handed over the flag of Clean Generation carried on board the solar plane to the Governors of Arizona, Texas, and Missouri.
New York City is now the ideal place to reach out to an even greater number of people and spread the Solar Impulse message about the importance of adopting clean technologies. Clean Generation is a global movement supported by thousands of people and more names are added at every stopover onto a USB stick and symbolically carried in the cockpit of the airplane as virtual passengers. All those interested in being part of this movement can sign up here: solarimpulse.com/join_us
Although the flight has been confirmed, the flight director may still decide to postpone it or alter the route shortly before take-off. Keep up to date with the latest news at solarimpulse.com.
Author’s Note: Congratulations to those of you who are fortunate enough to be on the tarmac when Solar Impulse lands! It’s a late night, but well worth it.