Solar Plane On Display For St. Louis

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) - The first day-and-night solar plane has landed at Lambert Airport and will soon be open to the public.

SolarImpulse is a revolutionary plane flying across America. At 40 miles per hour, the 3,500 pound aircraft with a 705 foot wing span is completely fueled by solar power.

To put those numbers into perspective, the solar plane boasts a jumbo-jet-sized wingspan, weighs less than an SUV and uses as much power as a scooter.

The project began in 2003 in Switzerland. Ten years later, Swiss pilots Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg say the sky is the limit for this technology.

"The next step is to fly transatlantic in 2015," Borschberg says. "Right now, the plane can fly for more than 40 hours nonstop. The only limitation is the pilot."

When Piccard was 11-years-old, he met St. Louis native and acclaimed aviator Charles Lindbergh. "Lindbergh inspired me to become a pilot," Piccard said. "So I'm especially excited to be here in St. Louis."

The world's most advanced solar-powered airplane took off from Dallas-Fort Worth airport Monday and landed at Lambert Airport at 1:30 a.m. Tuesday morning.

Public viewings are Thursday, June 6 and Friday, June 7 from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. both days.

Public Viewing

The first public viewing is scheduled on Thursday, June 6, from 9 a.m. to noon, and a second viewing session will be offered on Friday, June 7, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Anyone wishing to view the plane must register at http://solarimpulseatstlouisonthursday.eventbrite.com/ for Thursday and http://solarimpulseatstlouisonfriday.eventbrite.com/ for Friday.

By: Christina Santiago Turner

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