The sun-powered Solar Impulse set out on a cross-country flight from Moffett Airfield in Mountain View, Calif at 6:12 a.m. (PST) this morning. The 2013 Across America mission, which seeks to promote clean technologies, will make stops in 4 U.S. cities: Phoenix, Ariz.; Dallas, Texas; St. Louis, Mo.; D.C.; and New York, N.Y.
Project co-founders Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg will divide duties piloting the plane, with Piccard starting off behind the yoke and Borschberg taking over for the final leg of the trip.
"My dream is to have people understand the potential of these technologies and use them on the ground," said Borschberg, according to SolarImpulse.com.
The Solar Impulse HB-SIA features 11,628 monocrystalline silicon solar cells across its 208 foot wingspan, powering 4 brushless electric motors. The plane's maximum cruising altitude is listed at 27,900 feet and its average flying speed clocks in at 43 miles per hour. Throughout the flight you can track gauges such as current altitude, speed, location and battery status on the Solar Impulse Across America website.
The cross-country flight is expected to be the final voyage for the HB-SIA, which is set to be replaced by the more advanced HB-SIB. Solar Impulse hopes their next generation solar plane will be capable of circumnavigating the globe in 2015.
You can watch the fuel-free flight live through the video stream below.