Solar-Powered Plane Attempts Historic Flight From Mountain View

MOUNTAIN VIEW (KCBS) – A plane with the wingspan of a jumbo jet lifted off from Moffett Field Friday morning to attempt an historic cross-country journey using only solar power.

Dozens of aviation enthusiasts and journalists snapped pictures and marveled at the slow and steady takeoff of the Swiss-made Solar Impulse experimental plane just after 6:000 a.m. Friday. Takeoff was clocked at approximately 22 miles per hour.

The Solar Impulse, powered by some 12,000 photovoltaic cells covering its massive wings, is on the first leg of a trip across the country. The plane has planned 10-day stops in Phoenix, Dallas, Washington before heading to New York.

Each leg was expected to take nearly an entire day. The aircraft is designed to fly at nighttime using batteries charged during the day by the sun.

The goal of the flight is to showcase the potential of solar power.  More on the project can be found at

Dozens of Aviation Enthusiasts Turn Out for Solar Power Lift Off

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

More from Matt Bigler

One Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More From CBS San Francisco

Get The New CBS SF Bay Area Local App
Got Our Weather App?

Listen Live