Solar Impulse 2 Completes Atlantic Crossing


Solar Impulse 2 landed in Seville, Spain, early Thursday, completing a 3160-NM trip across the Atlantic from New York in 71 hours. While the Solar Impulse team had initially hoped the trans-Atlantic crossing would land in Paris in honor of Charles Lindbergh’s 1927 flight, a stormy weather forecast resulted in choosing Spain as an alternate. Still, the flight beat the team’s 90-hour estimated time as pilot Bertrand Piccard departed Kennedy Airport on Monday and tweeted photos from over the ocean, including one of a pod of whales.

“Everybody has tried to cross the Atlantic, with sailboats, steamboats, airships, aeroplanes, even rowing boats and kitesurfs. Today, it’s a solar-powered aeroplane for the first time ever, flying electric with no fuel and no pollution,” Piccard told the crowd that greeted him in Seville, as reported by the BBC. Piccard and Andre Borschberg have been flying the single-seat airplane around the world in shifts, starting in Abu Dhabi in March 2015. It will take two more legs to fly back to their starting point. Meanwhile, the team has submitted the results of the last flight to the Fdration Aronautique Internationale, which will ratify them as world records for distance and duration flown by a solar-powered airplane.