Solar Powered Plane Leaves Tulsa, Heads To Ohio

Saturday, May 21st 2016, 8:08 am
By: News On 6

The solar powered plane traveling around the world took off early Saturday from Tulsa International Airport for Dayton, Ohio.

 shows us how the pilots prepared for this leg of the trip and why they'll miss Tulsa.

After spending ten days in Tulsa, Solar Impulse 2 found a break in the weather to takeoff and continue its zero fuel journey around the world.

The support crew wheeled the plane out to the runway, went over some final checks and got takeoff clearance before leaving just before 4:30 a.m.

Solar Impulse 2's pilots alternate from city to city.

Bertrand Piccard landed in Tulsa on May 12 after weather detoured them here instead of Kansas City.

Andre Borschberg is the pilot for the Tulsa-Dayton leg.

"We'd still be in Phoenix if we hadn't of done this and if we didn't have the support of American Airlines--the guys here in Tulsa we'd still be trying to make it," said Andre Borschberg.

Spending more than a week inside an American Airlines' maintenance hangar at Tulsa International Airport, visitors got two chances to see the plane up close.

And the extended stay gave pilots and crew a chance to explore Oklahoma.

I've made some good friends here. I met the three flying cowboys," said Bertrand Piccard.

One of those "cowboys" is Pilot Steve Eaton.  They took Piccard and his crew over to the Arkansas River near Tulsa for some sandbar landings and eagle watching.

"He loved it, he's a fantastic pilot, he was actually flying my plane from the backseat," said Steve Eaton.

"That's really a great way to fly. I really enjoyed it!  It was fantastic," Bertrand Piccard said.

Solar Impulse 2's flight crew says the plane should reach Dayton late Saturday.

After landing at the "Birthplace of Aviation," Solar Impulse 2 will fly to New York City before a long haul flight across the Atlantic Ocean.

The solar powered plane that has been in Tulsa since May 12 is now en route to Dayton, Ohio.  Solar Impulse 2 took off from Tulsa International Airport just before 4:30 a.m. Saturday.  It was suppose to leave on Thursday, but rain delayed the flight.

5/20/2016 Related Story: Solar Impulse 2 Announces Tulsa Departure