Solar Impulse 2 landed in Tulsa, Oklahoma on Friday after an 18-hour flight from Phoenix. This marks the eleventh leg of the solar-powered airplane’s round-the-world flight.
Solar Impulse initiator and pilot Betrand Piccard was in the cockpit when Solar Impulse 2 took off on Thursday at 3:00 a.m. local time from Phoenix, Arizona. The flight to Tulsa, Oklahoma took just over 18 hours and covered a distance of 1,570 kilometres. Piccard reached a maximum altitude of 6,706 metres and an average speed of 86.40 kilometres per hour.
According to news reports, Oklahoma was not initially regarded as a potential destination because of its tornado risks. The original plan was to fly to Kansas, Missouri, but poor weather conditions over the state of Kansas forced the Solar Impulse flight team to switch destinations.
The flight to Tulsa marks the eleventh leg of Solar Impulse’s round-the-world journey and its third flight of the year. The solar-powered airplane was grounded in Hawaii over the winter due to overheating of the battery system.
Two more stops are planned in the US, including New York. After crossing the Atlantic, the world’s first-ever circumnavigation in a solar-powered airplane will complete its journey back where it all began in Abu Dhabi.
Solar Impulse seeks to demonstrate what modern technologies based on renewable energy are capable of accomplishing.
“Solar Impulse showcases that today exploration is no longer about conquering new territories, because even the moon has already been conquered, but about exploring new ways to have a better quality of life on earth,” commented Piccard.
Image credit: © Solar Impulse | Chammartin