Solar-Powered Plane Crosses The Pacific

A solar-powered aircraft has completed a crossing of the Pacific Ocean after a 62-hour non-stop flight.

Pilot Betrand Piccard landed Solar Impulse 2 in Mountain View outside San Francisco after travelling from Hawaii on the latest stage of his journey around the world.

The plane set off from Abu Dhabi in March last year and has made stops in Oman, Myanmar, China and Japan.

"Solar Impulse 2", a solar powered plane piloted by Swiss Bertrant Piccard

But the Pacific leg was the most dangerous part of the journey because of the lack of places to make a landing in an emergency.

Before landing, the aircraft performed a fly-by over the Golden Gate Bridge.


"I crossed the bridge. I am officially in America," Mr Piccard declared as he flew over the iconic span.

The plane normally flies at around 28mph (45kph) but can reach double that speed when the sun's rays are strongest.

The wings of the carbon-fibre aircraft stretch wider than those of a Boeing 747 and are covered with 17,000 solar cells that power propellers and charge batteries.

It runs on stored energy at night.

The Solar Impulse 2 arrived in Hawaii in July but was forced to stay in the islands after the plane's battery system sustained heat damage on its trip from Japan.

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