12 Facts About Solar Impulse


Solar Impulse is a Swiss long-range experimental solar-powered aircraft project, and the name of the project's two operational aircraft.

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Second aircraft, completed in 2014 and named Solar Impulse 2, carries more solar cells and more powerful motors, among other improvements.

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On 9 March 2015, Piccard and Borschberg began to circumnavigate the globe with Solar Impulse 2, departing from Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates.

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On 26 June 2009, Solar Impulse 1 was first presented to the public at the Dubendorf Air Base, Switzerland.

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On 8 July 2010, Solar Impulse 1 achieved the world's first manned 26-hour solar-powered flight.

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On 5 June 2012, the Solar Impulse successfully completed its first intercontinental flight, a 19-hour trip from Madrid, Spain, to Rabat, Morocco.

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On 6 July 2013, following a lengthy layover in Washington, Solar Impulse completed its cross-country journey, landing at New York City's JFK International Airport at 23:09 EDT.

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Solar Impulse 1 was placed on public display at JFK after its landing.

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For most of its time airborne, Solar Impulse 2 cruised at a ground speed of between 50 and 100 kilometres per hour, usually at the slower end of that range at night to save power.

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Additional legs of the flight were added in the US as Solar Impulse 2 flew to Phoenix, Arizona, Tulsa, Oklahoma, Dayton, Ohio, Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania and New York City, arriving there on 11 June 2016.

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Piccard said that he and his organization, Solar Impulse Foundation, formed the World Alliance to help draw investors' and businesses' attention to new cleantech startups.

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Solar Impulse noted in a 2018 Smithsonian article that technologies developed for the solar-powered flight were already being repurposed in new ways, including new ceiling fans based on the solar airplane engines and refrigerators using the cockpit insulation.

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