Solar Impulse Lands at JFK in New York

Solar Impulse – the solar-powered airplane of Swiss pioneers Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg – has successfully landed at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport setting a new milestone in the history of aviation: for the first time a plane capable of flying day and night powered exclusively by solar energy has crossed the USA from the West to the East Coasts without using a single drop of fuel. (©Solar Impulse Photos at right and below)

André Borschberg, Solar Impulse Co-founder and CEO, landed Solar Impulse at JFK on Saturday, July 6 at 11:09 p.m. EDT, 3 hours earlier than planned because of a rip in the fabric on the lower side of the left wing. The flight took 18h 23min with a departure from Washington Dulles at 04:46 a.m. EDT on Saturday.

“This last leg was especially difficult due to the damage of the fabric on the left wing. It obliged the team to envisage all the possible scenarios, including bailing out over the Atlantic. But this type of problem is inherent to every experimental endeavor. In the end, this didn’t prevent us from succeeding in our Across America mission and provided an invaluable learning experience in preparation for the round-the-world tour in 2015,” said André Borschberg shortly after landing, adding “we extend our gratitude to all airport and government authorities whose precious support made this mission possible.”

The arrival of Solar Impulse in New York City marks the culmination of its ambitious journey Across America, which started on May 3rd in San Francisco, California. The journey took a total of 105h 41min and 3511 miles flown at an average speed of 28.8 kt. Before reaching New York, Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg alternately flew Solar Impulse to Phoenix, Dallas-Fort Worth, St. Louis, Cincinnati and Washington D.C. The plane stopped over in each of these cities giving the opportunity to the team to organize public viewings and political meetings with high level representatives such as Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz, to promote clean technologies, energy efficiency and renewable energies.

“Flying coast-to-coast has always been a mythical milestone full of challenges for aviation pioneers. During this journey, we had to find solutions for a lot of unforeseen situations, which obliged us to develop new skills and strategies. In doing so, we also pushed the boundaries of clean technologies and renewable energies to unprecedented levels,” said Dr. Bertrand Piccard, Solar Impulse Initiator, Chairman and pilot.


  • News conference and Flying Laboratory event with Solar Impulse mission partners on Monday, July 8 at noon at John F. Kennedy International Airport: Under the slogan “Cleantechs are profitable”, Solar Impulse will hold a press conference and event axed on presenting the technological contributions from Solar Impulse partners.
  • Run of show:
    Remarks by:
    • Port Authority Representative
    • Solar Impulse pilots Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg
    • Solar Impulse partners: Solvay, Schindler, Swiss Re Corporate Solutions, Bayer Material Science, Sunpower and the Swiss Government
    Q&A opportunity
  • Visit and photo opportunities around the airplane
  • Interview opportunities with pilots
  • Nasdaq Opening Bell Ceremony: On Tuesday, July 9 at 9:30 a.m. Solar Impulse pilots and co-founders, Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg, will visit the NASDAQ MarketSite in Times Square and ring the Opening Bell. Media are welcome to attend the event at NASDAQ MarketSite, 4 Times Square, 43rd & Broadway, Broadcast Studio from 09:15 to 09:30 a.m. Interviews can be organized from 9:30 until 11:00 a.m.
  • UN presentation: On Tuesday, July 9 at 4 p.m. Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg will speak at Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Chamber in presence of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and Ambassador of Switzerland to the United Nations Paul Seger. Media are welcome to attend the presentation: If you do not hold a UN badge, please RSVP to indicating full name, media outlet, nationality, date of birth. Please bring along a valid form of ID.
  • Solar Impulse Open House – Public Visits will be organized at the Solar Impulse hangar at JFK on:
    • Saturday, July 13 from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m.
    • Sunday, July 14 from 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
    • Several private Solar Impulse partners events throughout the week July 8 – 15 at JFK

The Solar Impulse Across America mission is made in partnership with SolvaySchindlerBayer Material Science,Swiss Re Corporate SolutionsSunpower and the Swiss Confederation.



André Borschberg, Co-founder and CEO

Take -off time:

July 6, 2013 04:46 AM EDT (UTC-4)

Time of landing:

July 6, 2013 11:09 PM EDT (UTC-4)

Flight duration:

18h 23min

Average ground speed:

27km/h (15 kts)

Highest altitude reached:

3110 m (10 200 ft)

Flight Distance:

495 km (~267 NM)


  • 03 May 2013: First leg San Francisco/Moffett Airfield – Phoenix/Sky Harbor
    Pilot: Bertrand Piccard, Initiator and Chairman
  • 22 May 2013: Second leg Phoenix/Sky Harbor – Dallas/Fort Worth
    Pilot: André Borschberg, Co-Founder and CEO
  • 03 June 2013: Third leg Dallas/Fort Worth – St. Louis/Lambert Airport
    Pilot: Bertrand Piccard
  • 14 June 2013: Fourth leg St. Louis/Lambert Airport – Cincinnati as Pit Stop – Washington DC/Dulles
    Pilot: André Borschberg (St. Louis – Cincinnati) and Bertrand Piccard (Cincinnati – Washington D.C.)
  • 06 July 2013: Fifth and last leg Washington DC/Dulles – New York/JFK
    Pilot: André Borschberg