Solar-Powered Plane Successfully Completes Over-Night Flight
The Solar Impulse, a zero-emissions solar-powered plane continues to make significant strides in its development.
Last December the HB-SIA prototype made news when it successfully taxied down a runway. Headlines were made again in April when the plane successfully completed its first flight in Switzerland. Now, the HB-SIA is breaking the presses after completing an over-night flight.
The aircraft took off just before 7 a.m. yesterday in Switzerland, it touched down at 9 a.m. this morning. The plane flew at an altitude of 9,000 meters and averaged 26 miles per hour.
The Solar Impulse's pilot, Andre Borschberg said the 26-hour flight was the most exciting of his 40-year career. Project leader Bertrand Piccard said this momentous achievement made a statement, "Before yesterday morning, we didn't have credibility. It's time to use this success to demonstrate in the political and economic world how we can use this clean technology."
The HB-SIA is powered completely by 12,000 solar cells and sunlight-powered lithium batteries. The plan is to have the Solar Impulse fly around the world in 2013. The next testing step: a flight across the Atlantic.
Read the full story at BusinessWeek: Solar-Powered Aircraft Lands After Overnight Flight
Image courtesy of WINK
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