The Latest: Solar plane prepares to land after 3-day flight

AP News
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Posted: Apr 24, 2016 12:58 AM
The Latest: Solar plane prepares to land after 3-day flight

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The Latest on the flight of a solar-powered airplane from Hawaii to California in an attempt to circumnavigate the globe (all times local):

9:45 p.m.

A solar-powered airplane is preparing to land in Northern California after flying for three days across the Pacific Ocean.

Solar Impulse 2 has been flying in a holding pattern off the San Francisco coast while waiting for winds to decrease for landing in Mountain View.

The aircraft reached the Golden Gate Bridge Saturday afternoon following 56 hours of flight that began Thursday morning in Hawaii. The trans-Pacific leg of the journey is the riskiest part of the solar plane's global travels because of the lack of emergency landing sites.

Solar Impulse 2 is on an around-the-world journey to promote renewable energy and the spirit of innovation.

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5:30 p.m.

A solar-powered airplane has reached the San Francisco Bay area following 56 hours of flight over the Pacific Ocean.

Pilot Bertrand Piccard is performing a fly-by over the Golden Gate Bridge as spectators watch the narrow plane with extra-wide wings from below.

Earlier, Piccard said he was excited to get the chance to fly over the iconic span in a plane that doesn't make noise and doesn't pollute.

The aircraft will loiter aloft until midnight when winds will decrease for landing at Moffett Airfield in Mountain View.

Solar Impulse 2 is on an around-the-world journey to promote renewable energy and the spirit of innovation. The plane took off last March from Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, and it has made stops in Oman, Myanmar, China, Japan and Hawaii.

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1:45 p.m.

The pilot of a solar-powered airplane on an around-the-world journey says stopping in California's Silicon Valley will help link the daring project to the pioneering spirit of the area.

Pilot Bertrand Piccard, who left Hawaii three days ago, says he hopes to fly over San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge before landing in Mountain View.

Piccard said Saturday on a live video feed on the website documenting the journey that he is very excited of the chance to fly over the iconic bridge in a plane that doesn't make noise and doesn't pollute.

Piccard is expected to land in Northern California late Saturday.

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9:30 a.m.

A solar-powered airplane on an around-the-world journey has traveled 80 percent of the way from Hawaii to California.

The project's website says the Solar Impulse 2 aircraft is 48 hours into a three-day flight over the Pacific.

The aircraft's destination on this leg of the journey is Mountain View, California, at the southern end of San Francisco Bay.

The aircraft's wings are covered with solar cells to take energy from the sun to power the motors turning its propellers. During darkness it relies on energy stored in batteries.

As the sun rose over the Pacific on Saturday, the plane's batteries began charging again.

The aircraft started its journey in March 2015 from Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates.