NEW YORK – After flying around-the-world over 18,000 miles purely on solar power, Solar Impulse landed in New York City today at John F. Kennedy Airport, completing the final North American leg of the Round the World flight mission.
Led by co-founders and pilots Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg, the Solar Impulse 2 solar airplane is the first of its kind, flying day and night without fuel or polluting emissions to demonstrate the ability of today’s clean technologies to save natural resources, improve quality of life and inspire sustainable development worldwide through scientific adventure.
Solar Impulse is equipped with 17,000 solar cells that absorb energy during daytime to supply power to a 2,077-pound lithium battery used during the night. Solar Impulse has now completed the fourteenth flight leg of the journey and is on track to circumnavigate the globe this summer – another feat no solar powered plane has successfully completed.
Don’t expect solar to replace jet planes soon since average speed for the Solar Impulse was about 50 miles per hour with a maximum of 86 miles per hour. Jet planes can fly over 500 miles per hour.
“We want to show that clean technology and renewable energy can achieve the unthinkable,” said Bertrand Piccard, pilot and chairman of the program. “We want youth, leaders, organizations and policymakers to understand that what Solar Impulse can achieve in the air, everyone can accomplish on the ground in their everyday lives. Renewable energy can become an integral part of our lives, and together, we can help save our planet’s natural resources.”
“The drive behind the Solar Impulse mission is to demonstrate how innovation and a pioneering spirit can change the world,” said Thomas Oetterli, CEO of Schindler. “That is why Schindler is a main partner in the Solar Impulse project. We share this spirit of vision and innovation for the future. As a leading global manufacturer of elevators, escalators and moving walks, Schindler is pushing the boundaries of how people view mobility in the cities of tomorrow.”
“We are so incredibly proud to be a part of this historic mission,” said Greg Ergenbright, president, Schindler Elevator Corporation USA. “This partnership is the perfect embodiment of Schindler’s ongoing investment in innovative technology for sustainable mobility. Bertrand, André and the entire Solar Impulse team continue to inspire us in our relentless pursuit of trailblazing technology that safely moves more people with less energy.”
Schindler’s longstanding policy that every new product and component must be more eco-friendly than its predecessor has made the company a leader in energy efficient products and systems, lightweight components and energy regeneration systems, such as:
- Destination-dispatch elevator technology that provides significant energy savings through enhanced traffic management and efficiency.
- Machine room-less elevators with gearless motors that are up to 60% more efficient than hydraulic elevators.
- Power Factor 1 regenerative drives with industry-leading .99 efficiency.
Solar Impulse will continue with flight legs across the Atlantic Ocean and Europe or North Africa before reaching its starting point and final destination of Abu Dhabi.