All electric “Solar Impulse” finishes first leg of historic flight

Posted on: 7:58 pm, May 4, 2013, by

(WTVR) — A plane that flies on solar power day and night has finished the first leg of its historic cross-country flight.

The five leg journey began Friday at Moffet Field in Mountain View, California. From Moffet Field, “Solar Impulse” landed early Saturday in Phoenix, Arizona. Eventually it will make its way to New York.

“Solar Impulse” co-founder and pilot Bertrand Piccard will fly the plane at 40 miles per hour from a small cockpit with no heat and an economy style seat.

The plane itself is as light as a car with a wingspan of a Boeing 747. It runs fuel free with 12 thousand solar cells in the wings.

The price tag to make it all happen was $140 million. Work is under way to build another solar plane for an around the world mission in 2015.