Solar Impulse Leaves New York for Historic Atlantic Ocean Crossing
June 20, 2016
By Alyssa Newcomb
The journey is perhaps one of the most grueling legs for the Solar Impulse project. Piccard and fellow adventurer, Andre Borschberg, have been taking turns flying the solar-powered plane on their quest to circumnavigate the globe solely using the power of the sun. During the four-day trip, Piccard, who is also a psychiatrist and trained in self-hypnosis, will take 20-minute naps in the pilot's seat as he cruises across the ocean. He will travel about the same speed as a car would on the highway.
Solar Impulse is able to fly at night and in cloudy weather because it stores solar energy in batteries on the aircraft. "During the day flight, the sun gives enough energy to run the four electrical motors and to charge the batteries so during the night we have the batteries running until the next sunrise and that next sunrise we recharge for the next day and like this we can fly forever," Piccard said.
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