The world’s largest solar-powered aircraft, Solar Impulse 2, has completed a three-day flight over the Pacific Ocean, a media report said on Sunday.
It flew over San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge on Saturday at around 5:15 p.m. as it prepared to land in California, BBC reported.
The plane took off from Hawaii on Thursday, where it underwent repairs for the past eight months after its batteries were damaged during the flight from Japan. This is the ninth leg of its attempt to fly round the world.
“I crossed the bridge. I am officially in America,” said pilot Bertrand Piccard as he flew above San Francisco Bay. The plane started its journey in March 2015 in Abu Dhabi and it crossed Oman, India, Myanmar, and China. The five-day, five-night crossing set a record for the longest ever non-stop solo aeroplane journey.
It then flew to Japan, before undertaking a 8,924 km passage to Hawaii. The trip has involved two pilots — Piccard and his business partner, Andre Borschberg — flying separate legs. The landing at the Moffett Airfield, located in Mountain View in Silicon Valley, is being delayed until winds drop.
The Solar Impulse gets all its energy from the sun – through the 17,000 photovoltaic cells that cover the top surfaces of the craft. These power propellers during the day, but also charge batteries that the vehicle’s motors can then call on during the night.
The distance on this leg was 4,000km or 2,200 nautical miles. Piccard and Borschberg intends to reach New York by the beginning of June, to begin preparations for an Atlantic crossing.