Solar Impulse, the solar-powered airplane of Swiss pioneers Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg, departed Phoenix’s Sky Harbor Airport early Wednesday morning for Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport to complete the second leg of its historic, cross-country journey. Solar Impulse is set to arrive at DFW around 1 a.m. Thursday.
After a successful first leg on May 3, where Piccard flew Solar Impulse from the San Francisco Bay Area to Phoenix, Borschberg will attempt to set an absolute distance world record in solar aviation. The Phoenix-Dallas trip should be more than 830 miles. The previous distance record already belongs to Solar Impulse when Borschberg flew 693 miles from Switzerland to Spain last May.
The third leg of the Across America journey, from Dallas to St. Louis, Mo., will be flown by Piccard.
By achieving historical firsts and setting new records, Solar Impulse hopes to inspire everyone to be pioneers and change-makers to bring solutions for today’s challenges. Clean Generation, Solar Impulse’s latest initiative to create a global movement to promote the use of clean technology, is already rallying thousands of people to support the adoption of sustainable energy solutions. The names of those who join this movement are carried on a USB key kept in the cockpit and transported across America as virtual passengers.
Five custom-designed flags displaying the Clean Generation slogan are carried by the pilots and handed over to civic leaders at each stop. The flags are as a symbol of inspiration for citizens, CEOs and policymakers to adopt Solar Impulse’s pioneering, clean-energy spirit. In Phoenix, the Clean Generation flag was handed over to Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, who visited Solar Impulse at Phoenix Sky Harbor during a dinner organized by the Swiss consulate in Phoenix.
To track the flight live, click here.