Nothing quite like a fly-by of the Statue of Liberty in the middle of the night to mark an arrival in to New York City.
Solar Impulse, the airplane flying around the world powered only by solar energy, arrived at JFK airport in the wee hours of Saturday morning completing its 14th segment and the sixth in a hop-scotch itinerary crossing the USA.
André Borschberg touched down at JFK International Airport on 11 June at 3:59am local time (UTC-4) after departing from Lehigh Valley International Airport the previous day at 11:18pm local time (UTC-4). A flight of 4 hours and 41 minutes, conceived to fly around the Statue of Liberty and become a symbol that our world has the potential to thrive free of pollution. The arrival in New York City also marks the completion of the crossing of the United States Mainland – a journey that took both pilots, taking turns at the controls of Si2, through San Francisco, in the Silicon Valley; Phoenix, in the Sonora desert; Tulsa, the city of oil at the very heart of the tornado alley; Dayton, the birthplace of the Wright Brothers; and the industrial hills of Lehigh Valley, before reaching New York City, home to the United Nations Headquarters – a tandem achievement without a single drop of fuel.
“We received very positive and heartwarming responses during our journey through the United States, because it’s a country of pioneers and explorers,” said Bertrand Piccard, Initiator and Chairman. “It’s amazing to see to what extent people understand not only what we do, but also why we do it: to show that if we all used the same clean technologies as Solar Impulse on the ground we could create jobs, enhance profits and boost economic growth, while also protecting the environment.”
“There is such a strong culture of innovation and entrepreneurship in the United States, and we have felt this spirit every step of the way, be it technological innovation in the Silicon Valley, or aviation pioneering in Dayton, the home of the Wright brothers where they invented the airplane,” commented André Borschberg, CEO and Co-Founder.“Among other things, arriving in New York by flying around the Statue of Liberty represents the entrepreneurial freedom that is so specific to this country.”
Next up is a transatlantic leg – either to Europe or Northern Africa – before eventually arriving in Abu Dhabi and completing the RTW journey in an aircraft which has yet to consume a drop of petrol in flight.
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