We've been tracking the sun-powered plane known as Solar Impulse for years as it roved hither and yon. Today, Solar Impulse's pilots, Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg, came to NASA's Ames research center to announce their plan to fly across America. The cross-country tour will begin in the Bay Area and end in New York, with stops in Phoenix, Dallas and Washington DC in between. Solar Impulse will also land in either Atlanta, Nashville or St. Louis, with the plane and its pilots set to stay in each locale for about a week to ten days to talk about the project before moving on. For the next month, Piccard and Borschberg will perform test flights around the Bay Area in preparation, and the plan is for the journey to start on May 1st, with an estimated arrival in Gotham sometime in early July.
The point of this new flight is to inspire and educate the public in general of the benefits of renewable energy and efficiency, and to encourage school children and university students in particular to "think off the grid" and innovate and invent on their own. To that end, the pilots will be broadcasting live transmissions and allowing the public to speak with them as they fly, in addition to providing access to flight planning information on the Solar Impulse website. Read on to learn a bit more about the Solar Impulse project and it's future plans.