Solar Impulse 2 is expected to arrive in New York early Saturday on the latest leg of its solar-powered journey around the world.
The plane will take off from Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania around 11 p.m ET Friday, arriving at JFK airport in New York about 5 hours later after a flyby of the Statue of Liberty.
Solar Impulse 2 was originally scheduled to arrive in New York early on Tuesday but the flight was postponed due to bad weather.
The flight will mark the 14th leg of the solar plane’s historic solar-powered trip around the world.
“Finally coming to #NYC to fly over the #StatueofLiberty tonight,” tweeted pilot Andre Borschberg Friday.
The plane is the brainchild of explorer and Solar Impulse Chairman Piccard, who is taking it in turns with his fellow Swiss pilot Borschberg to fly the aircraft on its journey across the globe.
The aircraft, a larger version of a single-seat prototype that first flew six years ago, is made of carbon fiber and has 17,248 solar cells built into the wing that supply the plane with renewable energy, via four motors. The solar cells recharge four lithium polymer batteries, which provide power for night flying.
Solar Impulse 2 typically flies between 30 mph and 40 mph, although this can increase and decrease significantly depending on wind speed.
The plane has travelled 18,375 miles since setting off from on the first leg of the trip from Abu Dhabi to Oman in March 2015, and has racked up almost 385 hours of flight time.
Prior to its arrival in Lehigh Valley, Solar Impulse 2 made stops in India, Myanmar, China, Japan, Hawaii, California, Phoenix, Tulsa and Dayton. From New York, the plane will fly across the Atlantic Ocean to Europe. The final leg of the odyssey is from Europe to Abu Dhabi.
The plane proves the immense potential of solar-powered technology, according to Piccard. Solar Impulse 2, he told FoxNews.com last year, could spark increased interest in technologies such as LED lights and electric cars, as well as lightweight vehicles.
A huge inflatable mobile hangar that can be quickly assembled and disassembled is being used to shelter Solar Impulse 2 on its journey around the world.
Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers
The Associated Press contributed to this report.