Solar Impulse Lifts Off on First Leg of Cross America 2013 Tour

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

With Bertrand Piccard at the controls, Solar Impulse completed its motor runups a few minutes before its scheduled 6:00 a. m. PDT takeoff.  The project commentator in Switzerland noted that Piccard looked “a little pensive” in the minutes leading up to the historic departure from Moffett Field in Mountain View, California. The first leg of the trip involves a stepped climb – first to 5,000 feet for about two hours, then to a little over 20,000 feet until about 7:00 p. m. , when the craft will begin a stepped descent for the next several hours and arrive over Phoenix near midnight. As cars whizzed by on the nearby Highway 101 linking San Jose and San Francisco, Solar Impulse’s crew …