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Solar-Powered Plane Embarks on First 24hr Flight As Darkness Falls

Posted By Cameron Scott On July 7, 2010 @ 1:42 pm In Environment,Green Technology,Green Transportation,Innovation,Renewable Energy,Solar Power | No Comments

andre borschberg, bertand piccard, solar impulse, green air travel, solar powered aircraft, solar power, sustainable design [1]

Can a solar-powered plane [2] fly at night? We’ll know for certain in just a few short hours. Early this morning the 40-horsepower Solar Impulse [3] aircraft embarked upon its first 24-hour trip. Just before dark, pilot André Borschberg will decide whether or not to continue the flight, drawing power from lithium batteries that store a charge from the 11,000-plus solar cells [4] on the craft.

andre borschberg, bertand piccard, solar impulse, green air travel, solar powered aircraft, solar power, sustainable design [5]

The 24-hour flight is one of a building series [6] of trial runs [7] for Solar Impulse as its team gears up for an around-the-world flight [8] in 2010. While the one-man plane is a long way off from commercial use, its purpose, expressed bluntly by the team leader Bertrand Piccard (of balloon fame [9]), is “to prove that renewable energies are not just pornography for tree huggers.”

Speaking of pornography, you can follow the flight in real time on this website [10].

+ Solar Impulse

Via Wired [11]

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URL to article: http://inhabitat.com/solar-powered-plane-embarks-on-first-24hr-flight-as-darkness-falls/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://inhabitat.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2010/07/solarimpulsenight.jpg

[2] solar-powered plane: http://www.inhabitat.com/2007/11/06/solar-impulse-solar-powered-plane-is-unveiled/

[3] Solar Impulse: http://inhabitat.com/index.php?s=%22solar+impulse%22

[4] solar cells: http://inhabitat.com/solar-power/

[5] Image: http://inhabitat.com/2010/07/07/solar-powered-plane-embarks-on-first-24hr-flight-as-darkness-falls/solar-impulse-1-3/

[6] series: http://inhabitat.com/2010/06/29/solar-impulse-airplane-gears-up-for-first-night-flight/

[7] runs: http://inhabitat.com/2010/04/07/solar-impulse-plane-takes-first-successful-flight/

[8] flight: http://www.inhabitat.com/2009/06/30/solar-impulse-plane-unveiled-set-to-circle-the-globe/

[9] balloon fame: http://www.bertrandpiccard.com/eng/around.php

[10] website: http://www.solarimpulse.com/nightFlights/

[11] Wired: http://www.wired.com/autopia/2010/07/solar-airplane-to-fly-through-the-night-tonight/

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