The Solar Impulse Across America flight will depart from San Francisco’s Moffett Field in May, weather permitting. Other stops include Phoenix Sky Harbor, Dallas-Fort Worth, Washington DC-Dulles, and New York’s JFK, where it will conclude its journey. Lambert will be the Midwest stop, arriving around the end of May.
The Solar Impulse is the first airplane capable of flying 24 hours day and night without using a single drop of fuel. The aircraft prototype is made of carbon fiber and has the wingspan of a jumbo jet such as a Boeing 747, but weighs 3,500 lbs., the weight of a small car. It is powered by 12,000 solar cells built into its wings that provide power to four electric motors. Solar cells recharge lithium batteries during the day, allowing the plane to continue its flight at night.
The U.S coast-to-coast crossing will prepare the aircraft for a zero-fuel flight around the world in 2015.