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Solar Impulse Sets New Record for Flight Duration Across the U.S.

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_67767259_67767258The Solar Impulse (HB-SIA) aircraft travelled the 1,541 km (958 miles), setting a new record on solar-powered flights across the U.S.

The plane took off in Phoenix, Arizona and landed in Dallas 18 hours later. The upcoming destinations of the solar plane include St. Louis, Missouri, Washington DC and New York.

The machine is equipped with 12,000 solar sells, which are used to charge the 400kg of lithium-ion batteries. It weighs just 1.6 tonnes, as opposed to the Arbus A340, which has the same wingspan.

The Solar Impulse aircraft is already a record holder for the first solar powered international flight and the first inter-continental solar-powered flight. But he co-founders and pilots of Solar Impulse, Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg, are determined to continue setting records.

Their aim is to conduct the first trans-oceanic flight, before they reach their ultimate goal of flying around the world on solar power.

The two pilots are not only challenged by the technology. They have to battle strong winds and turbulence for more than 26 hours in the air.

The series of solar-powered flights are part of Piccard and Borschberg’s Clean Generation Initiative, which has the aim to promote sustainable energy technologies to policy-makers and businesses.

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