Solar Impulse makes flight across America (pictures)
The solar-powered airplane is on a coast-to-coast voyage across the U.S. to promote the viability of clean energy.
Touchdown in Washington
Solar Impulse co-founder and CEO André Borschberg watches as the solar-powered plane touches down at Washington Dulles International Airport.
The Solar Impulse HB-SIA started its journey across America at Moffett Field in Mountain View, Calif., on May 3. On a mission to promote clean technology and renewable energy, the solar-powered plane has made stops in Phoenix, Dallas, St. Louis, and Washington. The fifth and final leg of the flight will end at JFK airport in New York in early July.
In the slideshow that follows, you can look at each leg of the Solar Impulse's flight across America.
Editors' note: This slideshow was first published on June 14, 2013. It was updated later in June with photos of the Solar Impulse's flight from St. Louis to Washington.
The ground crew for the Solar Impulse tows the plane onto a runway at the Cincinnati Municipal Lunken Airport. Takeoff from Cincinnati was slightly delayed because of lingering fog patches over the airport.
Borschberg and Piccard meet Steve Wright (center), the great-grand nephew of the Wright brothers, while in Cincinnati.
Wilbur and Orville Wright, brothers from Dayton, Ohio, built the world's first airplane to make a heavier than air, powered controlled flight. In December of 1903 the Wright Flyer made four flights at Kitty Hawk, N.C., the best of which covered 852 feet in 59 seconds.
Crowds get a chance to check out the Solar Impulse HB-SIA airplane during its short stay in Cincinnati.
The HB-SIA plane has 12,000 solar cells built into its wings that charge lithium batteries. This enables the plane to fly both day and night for up 26 hours at a stretch. It has the wingspan of a large passenger jet, at 208 feet, and the weight of a small car at 3,527 pounds.
Borschberg took off from Lambert-St.Louis International Airport at 4:01 a.m. CT on Friday. When he completes the roughly 10-hour flight to Cincinnati, pilot and Solar Impulse co-founder Bertrand Piccard will take over for the rest of the leg to Washington.
While in St. Louis the aircraft was stored in an inflatable mobile hanger designed by Solar Impulse for its planned flight around the world in 2015. It was the first time the hanger was used in real conditions.
Solar Impulse comes in for a landing at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport in Dallas, Texas, on May 23. André Borschberg, Solar Impulse co-founder and CEO, piloted this leg of the cross-country voyage.
The 936-mile flight, from Phoenix to Dallas, broke the world distance record in the solar aviation category of the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI). It took Borschberg over 18 hours to complete this third leg of the flight across America.
Partners of Solar Impulse -- including Solvay, Schindler, Omega and Deutsche Bank -- are shown on the tail of the HB-SIA airplane. The Solar Impulse project officially launched in 2003. After years of designing and refining, the HB-SIA made the first flight at night in solar aviation history in 2010.
A view from the cockpit as the Solar Impulse flies from Mountain View, Calif., to Phoenix. The HB-SIA has four pods fixed under its wings, each with a twin-bladed propeller, an electric motor, a polymer lithium battery, and a management system that controls charge and temperature.