Solar Impulse at Lunken   1 comment

It was an fairly dull Friday morning. I was working from home, seething at someone on a project I’m working on. I keep a twitter client going–my virtual water cooler. I got a message from a friend from college, which linked to an article. An experimental aircraft named Solar Impulse, which is making a cross-country flight, would be stopping in Cincinnati. Solar Impulse is a solar-powered aircraft designed to circle the globe. It combines solar cells with batteries, allowing it to fly at night. As a demonstration, they are flying it across country. That morning, they decided to make a “pit stop” in Cincinnati.

Not just in Cincinnati, but at Lunken Airport, merely a mile from my house.

I tracked it on their website throughout the day. My wife an daughter had a small event that evening, but thought they’d be back by the anticipated 8:45 arrival. I kept an eye on it, and while they were driving home, saw that it would arrive at 8:15. I grabbed my camera and a pair of binoculars, and met them as they were walking to the house.

We drove to Alms Park, and saw it over the I-275 Bridge.
Solar Impulse Over the Bridge

It seemed like a giant bird. Or, as my wife pointed out, a B-2 Spirit.
Solar Impulse Across the River

It’s wingspan was comparable to an Airbus A380, yet weight about the same as my wife’s car.
Solar Impulse at Lunken

What struck me about it was how slowly it was able to fly. One of the vehicles chasing it on landing was a bicycle.
Touchdown 1

Touchdown 2

DSC_8706

As they towed it from the runway, we went down the hill to look at it at the terminal building.
Approaching the Terminal

It was an impressive looking plane.
At the Terminal

Lunken is an underappreicated asset for Cincinnati, and you never know what might pay a visit. Solar Impulse was an example of such a guest. It was an unexpected treat!
Solar Impulse - Version 2

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Posted 2013-06-15 by Mr. Guilt in Aircraft, Cincinnati

One response to “Solar Impulse at Lunken

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  1. That’s an incredibly cool-looking plane. And these pictures are terrific!

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