Solar powered plane finishes groundbreaking US tour

A solar powered plane touched down at JFK airport over the weekend, marking the final leg of a groundbreaking tour around the United States. The Solar Impulse flew from Washington […]

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By Vicky Ellis

A solar powered plane touched down at JFK airport over the weekend, marking the final leg of a groundbreaking tour around the United States.

The Solar Impulse flew from Washington to New York despite damage to one of its wings.

Piloted by Swiss co-founder and CEO Andre Borschberg, the plane made the journey in 18h23min after leaving Washington in the early hours of the morning on Saturday.

It’s the first flight Across America to be completed without a drop of fuel.

Andre Borschberg said the last stretch of their journey was “especially difficult” because of the tear in the fabric on the Solar Impulse’s left wing: “It obliged the team to envisage all possible scenarios, including bailing into the Atlantic. But this type of problem is inherent to every experimental endeavour.

“In the end it didn’t prevent us from succeeding in our Across America mission and provided an invaluable learning experience in preparation for our round-the-world tour in 2015,” he added.

The 3,511-mile-long journey across the States which began in San Francisco took Mr Borschberg and co-pilot Dr Bertrand Piccard a total of 105h41min.