One day after a close call, the Solar Impulse 2 round-the-world airplane made a 17-hour trip from Ohio to Pennsylvania today in preparation for its star turn in New York.
The gossamer craft floated down to Lehigh Valley International Airport just as night was falling, at 9 p.m. ET (6 p.m. PT) with a crowd of well-wishers in attendance. Some of them flew the Swiss flag in honor of pilot Bertrand Piccard, the Swiss psychiatrist-adventurer who co-founded Solar Impulse.
“There is an incredible traffic jam around the airport,” Piccard said from the plane’s solo cockpit just before landing. “It’s really fun. … It’s probably the nicest scenery I’ve had for landing.”
A 17-hour flight time from Dayton International Airport to Lehigh Valley would be classified as a nightmare if Piccard had been piloting a commercial jet. But it’s par for the course for Solar Impulse 2.