17 Jun 2013

Across America Mission: Solar Impulse reaches Washington D.C.

Solar Impulse, the solar-powered airplane of Swiss pilots Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg, reached Washington D.C. yesterday at 12:15am EDT.

The Solar Implulse Across America Mission team had planned the fourth leg to go from St. Louis to Washington D.C., but strong cross and head winds made it impossible for the aircraft to reach the capital within 24 hours (the maximum flight duration of Solar Impulse reached so far is 26h10m19s, see below). The leg was therefore split into two flights: Borschberg flew from St. Louis to Cincinnati, Ohio, on 14 June, and Piccard from Cincinnati to Washington D.C. on 15 June.

After Bertrand Piccard’s landing at Washington Dulles International Airport , André Borschberg said, “with the successful completion of these last four US flights, we have shown that we are capable of coping with challenging meteorological conditions for our weather-sensitive plane and for our ground operations, and that we could find each time the right solutions to move forward. It has been a succession of fruitful learnings preparing us for the 2015 world tour.”

2013 06 15 AcrossAmerica FlightCincinnatiWashingtonDC take-off revillard--28 sSolar Impulse takes off from Cincinnati 
(photo: Solar Impulse | Revillard  | Rezo.ch)

Across America Mission

3 May 2013: First leg San Francisco/Moffett Airfield – Phoenix/Sky Harbor
22 May 2013: Second leg Phoenix/Sky Harbor – Dallas/Fort Worth
3 June 2013: Third leg Dallas/Fort Worth – St. Louis/Lambert Airport
14 June 2013: Fourth leg A St. Louis/Lambert Airport - Cincinnati/Lunken
15 June 2013: Fourth leg B Cincinnati/Lunken – Washington DC/Dulles
Early July 2013: Fifth and last leg Washington DC/Dulles – New York/JFK

Fly with us in the cockpit

The Solar Impulse team has set up a programme called "Fly with us in the cockpit" to create an influential global movement to promote the use of clean technology. Anyone can have their name carried in the cockpit of the solar airplane flying across the United States and show their support for clean technology.

Solar Impulse world records (including claims)

CSAbsolute altitude9235 m2010-07-08André Borschberg (SUI)ratified - current record16042
CSDuration26 h 10 m 19 s2010-07-08André Borschberg (SUI)ratified - current record16044
CSGain of height8744 m2010-07-08André Borschberg (SUI)ratified - current record16043
CSDistance along a course, pre-declared waypoints1487.6 km2013-05-23André Borschberg (SUI)preliminary record claim received16816
CSFree Distance1506.5 km2013-05-23André Borschberg (SUI)preliminary record claim received16817
CSStraight distance, pre-declared waypoints1099.3 km2012-05-25André Borschberg (SUI)ratified - current record16558
CSStraight distance, pre-declared waypoints1386.5 km2013-05-23André Borschberg (SUI)preliminary record claim received16815

Photo credit: Solar Impulse | Revillard | Rezo.ch