Solar Impulse 2 (Si2) departed Lehigh Valley International Airport, Pennsylvania, and landed at JFK International Airport, New York, on 11 June, after circling the Statue of Liberty.
By attempting the first solar flight around the world, pushing back the boundaries of the possible and taking on a project that was deemed impossible by industry experts, Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg want to show that the world can be run on clean technologies.
André Borschberg touched down at JFK International Airport at 3:59am after departing from Lehigh Valley International Airport the previous day at 11:18pm. The arrival in New York City marks the completion of the crossing of the United States Mainland – a journey that took both pilots, alternating at the controls of Si2, through San Francisco, Phoenix, in the Sonora desert; Tulsa, Dayton, and the industrial hills of Lehigh Valley, before reaching New York City, home to the United Nations Headquarters – and all without using a single drop of fuel!
Bertrand Piccard arrived on the West Coast of the United States on 23 April at 11:44pm, after having completed the Pacific crossing with a three day and two night flight arriving from Hawaii. Since then, in each of the five stop-overs of this adventure through the continent, the project and its Co-Founders have captured the hearts and minds of supporters. With almost 20’000 people visiting the airplane over a six-week period, four million live views on solarimpulse.com and 18 million people reached on Facebook, the Solar Impulse team is well positioned, both physically and mentally, to attempt the crossing of the Atlantic Ocean when the weather will allow it.
“We received very positive and heart-warming responses during our journey through the United States, because it’s a country of pioneers and explorers,” said Bertrand Piccard, Initiator and Chairman. “It’s amazing to see to what extent people understand not only what we do, but also why we do it: to show that if we all used the same clean technologies as Solar Impulse on the ground we could create jobs, enhance profits and boost economic growth, while also protecting the environment.”
“There is such a strong culture of innovation and entrepreneurship in the United States, and we have felt this spirit every step of the way, be it technological innovation in the Silicon Valley, or aviation pioneering in Dayton, the home of the Wright brothers where they invented the airplane,” commented André Borschberg, CEO and Co-Founder. “Among other things, arriving in New York by flying around the Statue of Liberty represents the entrepreneurial freedom that is so specific to this country.”
The flight from Pennsylvania to New York was the 14th leg of the Round-The-World Solar Flight. The mission will soon continue onward across the Atlantic Ocean to Europe or North Africa and Abu Dhabi in the UAE where the adventure started in March 2015. By flying around the world with Si2, propelled only by solar energy, Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg are making history with clean technologies. Solar Impulse’s energy efficient solutions can already be used, not only in the air, but also on the ground, and have the potential to change lives, societies and future markets in an unprecedented way.
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