The one of a kind Solar-Impulse plane landed at KSTL around 1:30 A.M. on Tuesday, June 4th to an applause from the media, airport officials, and faculty of the St. Louis Science Center. The flight lasted over twenty one continuous hours, after a few minor delays as it waited for all air traffic to clear the immediate airspace. Piloted by Swiss pilots Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg, the flight gave Lambert field another historic milestone among its rich history. Dubbed as the ‘no fuel airplane’, the Impulse runs exclusively on solar powered battery’s, and can reach a height of nearly 30,000 feet with a maximum cruising speed of 40 mph. The team plans to stay in St. Louis until sometime this coming weekend (weather permitting) before continuing it’s journey to D.C. and New York. A larger, more powerful plane is currently in production at a facility in Switzerland, with plans to make a global flight at some point in 2015.
It was particularly important for me to come to St. Louis because I was so inspired when I met Charles Lindbergh at Cape Canaveral during a launch of the Apollo when I was eleven years old. I’m truly moved to be able to land here today with Solar Impulse,” said Bertrand Piccard.
Special thanks to Joyelle Gerner and Darla Stadler of the St. Louis Science Center, our organization president Dan O’Hara, and the Lambert airport authority for giving MOAVHIST members Alan Hoffman and Chase Kohler access to this special viewing event.
You can view more information about the Solar Impulse project here and there. Photos below taken by Bill Korte and Chase Kohler.