Solar plane leaves Phoenix for Dallas on 2nd leg of US trip - KCTV5

Solar plane leaves Phoenix for Dallas on 2nd leg of US trip

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Solar Impulse, a solar-powered plane, left Phoenix Wednesday morning on the second leg of its journey across the U.S. Solar Impulse, a solar-powered plane, left Phoenix Wednesday morning on the second leg of its journey across the U.S.
PHOENIX (CBS5) -

The Solar Impulse, a solar-powered plane attempting to fly across the United States without petroleum-based fuel, took off from Phoenix-Sky Harbor International Airport on Wednesday on the second leg of its journey.

Piloted by Swiss aviation pioneer Andre Borschberg, the plane was wheels up at 4:47 a.m. MST and is scheduled to arrive at the Dallas-Fort Worth airport in about 21 hours, Borschberg said.

Pilot and aviator Bertrand Piccard flew the Solar Impulse on the first leg, from San Francisco to Phoenix, on May 3.

The solar-power plane has been sitting at Phoenix-Sky Harbor since then.

The plane is scheduled to make stops in Dallas, Lambert Field in St. Louis, Dulles International Airport in Washington, D.C., and New York's John F. Kennedy airport.

The destinations could change, Piccard said, depending on the weather. He said the tumultuous weather in the Midwest held the Solar Impulse in Phoenix until Wednesday.

Piccard and Borschberg are trying to set an absolute distance world record in solar aviation. The Phoenix-to-Dallas-Fort Worth trip should be over 830 miles, which would best the record set by Solar Impulse when Borschberg flew 693 miles from Switzerland to Spain in May 2012.

Piccard and Borschberg are alternating in the pilot's seat.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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