National Air and Space Museum To Feature Solar Impulse

The “Become a Pilot” family day and aviation display, held annually at the National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va., is expected to feature a star attraction this year: Solar Impulse.

Solar Impulse
The innovative aircraft, now on a pioneering tour—“Solar Impulse Across America”—is anticipated to land at nearby Washington Dulles International Airport in time to be on public display Saturday, June 15, the day of the event, and the following day, Sunday, June 16. Public viewing will be from 10 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. both days. Due to weather conditions, the aircraft’s arrival may be delayed, but updates will be posted on the Solar Impulse’s and museum’s websites and through social media.

Founded in Switzerland by Bertrand Piccard, a psychiatrist, explorer and aeronaut who made the first non-stop around-the-world balloon flight, and André Borschberg, an engineer by education, entrepreneur and pilot, the Solar Impulse project focuses on flying without fuel by using renewable solar power to demonstrate the huge potential of clean technologies. The HB-SIA prototype airplane, which has the wingspan of a jumbo jet but is as light as a small car, is the first aircraft to fly day and night powered solely by the sun. It has set five world records, including a historical 26-hour non-stop flight. While it is on public display on the grounds of the Udvar-Hazy Center, members of the Solar Impulse team will be on hand to explain the aircraft and its technology.