Getty Images
Industryweek 11175 Solar Impulse

Solar Plane Plans Flight Around Statue of Liberty

June 6, 2016
Solar Impulse, the one-man airplane that doesn't require fuel, began its around-the-world journey from Abu Dhabi in March 2015.

Swiss pilot Andre Borschberg is preparing to fly his solar aircraft around the Statue of Liberty early Tuesday, entertaining onlookers with a symbol of what clean technology can accomplish.

Solar Impulse, a one-man airplane that doesn’t require a drop of fuel, will take off at about midnight from Allentown, Pennsylvania, and head for New York City, after a short test flight, Borschberg said by telephone Monday. He’s been taking turns with flying partner and hot-air balloon adventurer Bertrand Piccard in an attempt to circumnavigate the globe using solar energy. After being grounded nine months in Hawaii because the batteries overheated, Solar Impulse resumed its journey in April and has made stops in San Francisco; Phoenix; Tulsa, Oklahoma; Dayton, Ohio; and Allentown.

‘‘It’s symbolic that we’ll be flying around the Statue of Liberty,’’ said Borschberg, a former Swiss air force pilot. ‘‘It’s a way to pay tribute to the fantastic welcome we’ve received in this country.’’

The aircraft, which has the wingspan of a Boeing Co. 747 jumbo jet but weighs no more than a family car, will probably approach the Statue of Liberty between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m., flying at an altitude of about 1,600 feet (490 meters), Borschberg said. Both the plane and the monument will be illuminated, and the best sites to watch will be posted on the Solar Impulse website. Then the plane will then land at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport.

Solar Impulse began its journey from Abu Dhabi in March 2015. This is one of the shortest legs of the journey, though Borschberg said it’s one of the most complicated because of coastal winds and the amount of commercial air traffic around New York.

Popular Sponsored Recommendations

Global Supply Chain Readiness Report: The Pandemic and Beyond

Sept. 23, 2022
Jabil and IndustryWeek look into how manufacturers are responding to supply chain woes.

Empowering the Modern Workforce: The Power of Connected Worker Technologies

March 1, 2024
Explore real-world strategies to boost worker safety, collaboration, training, and productivity in manufacturing. Emphasizing Industry 4.0, we'll discuss digitalization and automation...

How Manufacturers Can Optimize Operations with Weather Intelligence

Nov. 2, 2023
The bad news? Severe weather has emerged as one of the biggest threats to continuity and safety in manufacturing. The good news? The intelligence solutions that build weather ...

How Organizations Connect and Engage with Frontline Workers

June 14, 2023
Nearly 80% of the 2.7 billion workers across manufacturing, construction, healthcare, transportation, agriculture, hospitality, and education are frontline. Learn best practices...

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of IndustryWeek, create an account today!