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Thu May 23, 2013
Pilot Bertrand Piccard Says Solar Impulse Is Vehicle For Change
Update: The Solar Impulse project says all of its scheduled open houses for Saturday at DFW are full. If they add other open houses the information will appear on their website solarimpulse.com
Solar Impulse touched down at DFW International early this morning at 1:08 a.m.
The Phoenix-Dallas flight of more than 800 miles is the longest yet for the aircraft which is on a coast-to-coast trip to raise awareness about the capabilities of renewable energy.
It’s powered by 12,000 solar panels which enable it to fly day and night without refueling. It doesn’t move very fast. It’s speed was about 28 miles an hour as it made the 18- hour trip from Phoenix to Dallas.
But the plane is so lightweight it nearly defies the laws of physics.
While it has the 210 foot wingspan of a jumbo jet it weighs about the same as a small car.
Solar Impulse was developed by two Swiss aviation pioneers, Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg who take turns piloting the plane.
Piccard comes from a family of famous explorers and was the first to complete a non-stop balloon flight around the world.
During a conversation Wednesday Piccard told KERA's Shelley Kofler Solar Impulse is another adventure but this time he has a goal to create something useful for the planet.
Piccard says North Texans can take a close up look at Solar Impulse during several Open Houses planned for the upcoming weekend.