Solar Impulse is making quick work of the U.S. portion of its round-the-world flight, having flown from Tulsa, Oklahoma, to Dayton, Ohio, to Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania, in just four days.
The Solar Impulse team had previously stated it wanted to make its way through Tornado Alley as quickly as possible to avoid any weather-related incidents.
Next stop for the all-solar-powered Si2: New York City, from which it will depart for its trip across the Atlantic Ocean to Europe and eventually Abu Dhabi, where its journey began in March 2015. Solar Impulse plans to fly over the Statue of Liberty and land at JFK. A date for the flight to New York has not yet been set.
André Borschberg will fly the Si2’s 14th leg to New York, and Bertrand Piccard will make the trip to its next destination in Europe.
Solar Impulse did experience a delay this week. On Tuesday in Dayton, hometown of the Wright brothers, the special inflatable mobile hangar that houses the Si2 partially deflated and collapsed onto the carbon fiber airplane. The flight was postponed one day while it was assessed for damage then cleared for flight. Piccard made the trip to Pennsylvania on Wednesday with a flight time of 16 hours and 49 minutes.