Solar plane makes historic flight over Golden Gate Bridge

A solar-powered airplane on a historic journey around the world landed at Moffett Field Saturday night.  Before touching down, the Solar Impulse 2 flew over the Golden Gate Bridge, much to the delight of spectators at Crissy Field.  

“It’s really interesting to see where the technology is taking us and obviously there’s climate change, but it’s part of history,” said Philippe Feru of San Francisco who brought his teenage son to see the plane.

The Swiss plane, powered by solar panels on its wings, has already broken a world record for the longest solo flight and is now on a mission to complete a tour of the world, free of fossil fuels.  The plane’s wingspan is longer than that of a 747 and weighs about as much as an average-sized car.  The solar panels on its wings power four small electric motors.  

The Solar Impulse 2 left from Hawaii on Wednesday on the ninth leg of its journey around the world, which began in Abu Dhabi in March of last year.  The message of the mission centers on clean technologies.

“The pilot, Bertrand Piccard, initiated the project with the message that the world could run on clean technologies and the plane is really a symbol,” explained Solar Impulse spokesperson Emily Geer.

The project is funded by about 90 corporate sponsors, including Google, which is based in Mountain View and leases property at Moffett Field.

The team expects to complete its around-the-world journey, returning to Abu Dhabi, sometime in July.