On July 6th, 2013, the Solar Impulse—a solar powered airplane designed by Swiss engineers, Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg—completed a trans-American flight that departed from San Francisco and landed in New York’s JFK International Airport.
The Solar Impulse is the first airplane that can travel day and night without using fuel.
This 3511 mile journey took a total of 105 hours and 41 minutes, flying at a speed of about 31 mph. The plane made stops in Dallas, Phoenix, St. Louis, and Washington, D.C. before completing its last leg of the trip to New York. The only issue that the Solar Impulse faced was an 8 foot rip on the fabric of the left wing. However, this rip was not deep enough to end the trip.
So, what’s the next goal for the Solar Impulse?—travel the world by 2015!
To see the Solar Impulse in Action and to get updates on the progress of their 2015 world tour, check out the Solar Impulse website
It’s no secret that advances in solar technology are on the rise. Amazing feats in solar technology aren’t just stopping at the Solar Impulse:
• College students in the Netherlands recently unveiled a solar powered family car that fits four passengers and runs through solar energy
• In June, AT&T launched a pilot project, installing several solar powered cell phone charging stations in New York, using Goal Zero technology.
• Researchers at the University of California are studying various ways that we can use solar energy to its full potential. Check out info on solar windows, better batteries, and secondhand daylight
And if you’re interested in using solar technology, check out how solar energy could make your everyday tasks like cooking, powering your home, and even showering . . . a little bit easier using the Sport Solar Oven, Solar Spray Portable Shower, and Goal Zero products.