Solar Plane Will Pass Over Bakersfield On Historic Flight Across the United States

Solar plane is fueled by 12,000 power cells

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - A solar-powered airplane is scheduled to pass over Bakersfield today on the first leg of a planned journey to several U.S. cities.

The Solar Impulse left Moffett Field in Mountain View just after dawn on Friday.

It plans to stop at Sky Harbor airport in Phoenix, Dallas-Fort Worth airport in Texas, Lambert-St. Louis airport, Dulles airport in the Washington area and New York's John F. Kennedy airport. Each flight leg will take 20 to 25 hours, with 10-day stops in each city.

The flight plan has the plane projected to fly over east Bakersfield, crossing over Lake Ming, but it has been flying parallel to that path since it took off.

The Impulse is traveling around 25 knots at 11,000 feet, so it should be easily visible from the ground.

The plane is powered by about 12,000 photovoltaic cells that cover massive wings and charge its batteries, allowing it to fly day and night without jet fuel.

Its creators say solar planes will never replace fuel-powered commercial flights.

The goal is to showcase the potential of solar power.

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