After a delay to check for possible damage, the Swiss-made solar plane Solar Impulse 2 has landed in Pennsylvania on the latest part of its journey around the world. Bertrand Piccard was the pilot for the almost 17-hour flight.
The Solar Impulse 2 was scheduled to fly from Dayton to Pennsylvania's Lehigh Valley on Tuesday morning, but project officials scrapped those plans late on Monday. Instead, the plane took off at 4:02 am local time on Wednesday, landing at 8:49 pm.
The Lehigh Valley boasts one of the largest solar panel installations in Pennsylvania and is a leading producer of solar and other renewable energy in the region.
The globe-circling voyage began in March 2015 in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, and made stops in Oman, Myanmar, India, China, Japan and Hawaii before pausing over the winter and resuming the trip in April 2016.
The Solar Impulse 2’s wings, which stretch wider than those of a Boeing 747, are equipped with 17,000 solar cells that power propellers and charge batteries. The plane runs on stored energy at night.
The solar project, with pilots Piccard and André Borschberg taking turns, began in 2002 to highlight the importance of renewable energy and the spirit of innovation. It is estimated to cost more than $100 million (CHF99 million).
swissinfo.ch and agencies