Solar Impulse plane completes final leg of cross-America trek

It has the wingspan of a Boeing 777, but weighs only as much as a family car. It has four propellers, but doesn’t sip an ounce of fuel. It's called the Solar Impulse, and it is the first plane designed to fly round the clock using only solar power.

In early May, the Solar Impulse took off from Mountain View, California on the first leg of its journey across America. Last night, it completed the trek, landing at New York's JFK Airport. In between, the plane made stopovers at Phoenix, Dallas, St. Louis, and Washington DC, allowing the Solar Impulse team to meet the public, show off the plane, and promote their vision of renewal energy. (In New York next weekend? If so, you're in luck: you can see the plane in person at JFK.)

Along the way, the plane set a new distance record for solar-powered flight: 1541 kilometers. The previous record was 1116 kilometers, set by — you guessed it — the Solar Impulse team.

QNX Software Systems is the official realtime OS partner for the Solar Impulse project, which uses QNX technology for several of the plane's control and data management functions. For more on the project and the people behind it, see the Solar Impulse website.

But before you go, check out this video, which starts off with some inspiring clips of the Solar Impulse in flight — followed by a cameo appearance by Larry Page wearing Google Glass.

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