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Thursday, July 8, 2010

Solar Powered Plane in Successful Test Flight

In what the team are describing as a "milestone" for solar powered air transport a plane landed near the Swiss capital Berne this morning at 7am GMT after a 26 hour flight time. The plane had taken off from the same the same airport at 5 GMT, the previous day.

This is the longest length of time a plane powered by solar energy has stayed airborne for and reaching an altitude of 8,700m it is also the highest altitude reached by any such aircraft. The team responsible for the feat is called Solar Impulse and one of the team's co-founders is Bertrand Piccard who achieved the world's first circumnavigation of the globe in a balloon in 1999.

The purpose of the mission was to see if a plane could possibly fly through the night. The team's next goal is to traverse the Atlantic in a new  improved prototype. They hope to complete  a circumnavigation of the globe in one of the crafts in 2013. The team aren't hoping for a replacement of standard airplanes with solar paneled ones anytime soon, instead they are trying to highlight the various relevant and beneficial uses of renewable energy sources.

What do you think? Can you envisage a future of solar driven aircraft? Leave a comment below.


  1. Enjoyed this post. Science is great, especially when we use it to make the world a better place!

  2. Nice design. Love the background. Definitely an important issue.