Solar Plane Set to Make Flight History

Created: 2013-05-23 13:18 EST

Category: World > North America

A giant solar-powered plane prepares for takeoff in Phoenix, Arizona.

Solar Impulse is the brainchild of two Swiss pilots who are hoping to make flight history.

[Andre Borschberg, Pilot]:
"This airplane becomes a symbol, in some ways the ambassador for this kind of vision, reducing or saving energy by using the technologies in the proper kind of way."

They are set to attempt a long-distance solar flight record by crossing more than 830 miles to reach Fort Worth, Texas in about 17 hours.

The aircraft runs on about the same power as a motor scooter.

The energy is collected from the 12,000 solar cells built into the wings that continuously recharge the batteries with a storage capacity equivalent to that of a Tesla electric car.

This is the second leg of a cross-country journey that will take the plane all over the United States.

Solar Impulse flies about 43 miles per hour and can reach heights of 28,000 feet.