Solar Impulse II lands in Pennsylvania on trip around the world

Allentown PA — The Solar Impulse II continues its voyage into history as the solar powered aircraft, piloted by Bertand Piccard and Andre Borschberg, made a stop at the Lehigh Valley Airport in Allentown Pennsylvania. The Air Museum Network was present as the dragonflyesk aircraft loitered above the skies of Pennsylvania to the delight of hundreds who stopped by to witness the landing.

Solar Impulse II – photo by Richard Souza, Zulu-Xray Photography

The 13th leg of the around the world journey began in Dayton Ohio at 4am (EST) and the weather conditions were ideal for the scheduled 9pm (EST) landing. The Solar Impulse II is a technological marvel. Built with lightweight materials, the entire upper surface of the 236ft (72m) wingspan is covered in solar cells, while the underside is covered in flexible skin capable of withstanding rigors of flight. The solar power is harnessed and stored in lithium polymer batteries. The propulsion of the aircraft is supplied by four brushless motors that provide 17.4 Horse power each. Solar Impulse II flies at an average speed of 43mph (70Km/h) and can cruise at an altitude of 27,900ft (8,500M).

Solar Impulse II in the twilight sky – photo by Richard Souza, Zulu-Xray Photography

Once the pattern was clear and true to schedule, the slow flying Solar Impulse II picked up airspeed and began its approach. With the 16 landing lights on and approaching at a speed of approximately 30mph, photographers had ample time to adjust the settings on their cameras. S.I. II inched over the threshold and eased down the runway to the cheers of the roadside crowd. Once the wheel was on the ground, Allentown and Lehigh Valley Airport became forever part of aviation history.

Click on thumbnails below to view additional images.

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