Last night, the Solar Impulse 2 took off from Allentown’s Lehigh Valley International Airport, bound for JFK in New York City. This is the fourteenth and last leg of the completely solar-powered plane’s record-breaking journey around the world (2).
Although the trip has taken a lover a year to make, the plane itself has been twelve years in the making. The project is the brainchild of Swiss pilots, Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg (2). Both men are renowned scholars and explorers with a common goal—to pioneer worldwide, emission-free travel (2).
To achieve this goal, these Swiss adventurers put their heads together and chose the strongest and most durable, sustainable fuel source available—SunPower solar panels. And, it is these panels that have propelled the Solar Impulse 2 on “the world's longest non-stop solo flight—a four-day, 21-hour and 52-minute excursion from Japan to Hawaii” last June (1).
The SunPower panels lining the plane’s wingspan could have continued to sustain the flight if its batteries had not been damaged in the course of the flight (1). This delayed the next leg of the flight. But since then, the plane has successfully made it from Hawaii to San Francisco—all the way to Pennsylvania. And, just this morning the plane touched down in New York, finishing its epic journey (1).
The two creators of the Solar Impulse 2, though they both admittedly love to set records, are not just in this for the bragging rights. The real point of this SunPower solar panel-fueled plane is to raise awareness about climate change and show the world that moving away from fossil fuels completely is not only necessary; it is possible (1).
Though the plane only seats one and is very far away from mass-production, it does prove that solar will become a viable aeronautic fuel source some day soon. It also might serve to settle a lot of doubts that many home and business owners have about going solar. If SunPower panels can keep a plane up in the air all over the world, think of what they can do for your home or business.
If you would like to know more about the Solar Impulse 2’s journey, you can check out the Solar Impulse website and get a comprehensive look at the plane’s journey. If you want to know more about SunPower solar panels and the Southern California installer that can help you get the only solar panels that soar for your home or business, give one of our solar consultants a call today.