Solar Impulse at Sky Harbor
The solar-powered Solar Impulse flew from San Francisco to Phoenix on Friday, May 3, 2013 on the first leg of its flight across the United States. It was placed on public display during its visit to Sky Harbor International Airport.
Solar Impulse is 71.7 feet long and its wing spans 208 feet. Despite its large wing, its maximum take-off weight is only 4,400 pounds. Its 2,200 square feet of wing area allows it to carry 11,628 photovoltaic cells. It is equipped with four 21 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion batteries. Each battery produces 7.5 kilowatts, the equivalent of about 10 horsepower. The batteries are charged during daytime and can power the airplane overnight in the dark. It requires no fuel and its endurance is limited primarily by the pilot's endurance.
Solar Impulse takes off at 22 miles per hour. A person on a bicycle can keep up with it as it takes off. It cruises at 43 miles per hour. Its service ceiling is 28,000 feet.
The solar-powered Solar Impulse departed from Phoenix at 4:47 AM on Wednesday, May 22. It is is scheduled to arrive in Dallas, Texas at 1:00 AM on Thursday.
Visit the Solar Impulse web site.
Air traffic at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.
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