Shine on: Solar Impulse plane begins journey across America

Solar plane that can fly at night begins cross-country trip

Following a bicycle down the runway at Moffett Field in Mountain View, Calif., a solar-powered airplane took off on a coast-to-coast voyage across the U.S. this morning to promote the message of clean technology.

Piloted by Swiss aviator Bertrand Piccard, the Solar Impulse HB-SIA set off for Phoenix, Ariz., on the first leg of its Across America journey that will also take the slender craft to Dallas, St. Louis, Washington, D.C., and finally New York in early July.

The goal is to go from one end of the country to the other without using a drop of fuel.

Solar Impulse takes off from NASA’s Moffett Field in California en route to Phoenix on the first leg of its Across America tour.

(Credit: Screenshot by Tim Hornyak/CNET)

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