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07-08-10, 07:53 PM #1
Solar powered plane completes 26 hour flightsolar-powered aircraft, which a team hopes will one day circle the globe, completed a 26-hour test flight in Switzerland at 9 a.m. (3 a.m. ET) Thursday.
Solar Impulse took off shortly before 7 a.m. Wednesday from an airfield in Payerne, 80 miles northeast of Geneva.
The plane was piloted by Andre Borschberg, who flew to a height of nearly 28,000 feet (8,500 meters).
"I've been a pilot for 40 years now, but this flight has been the most incredible one of my flying career," Borschberg said, according to the New York Times.
"Just sitting there and watching the battery charge level rise and rise thanks to the sun. I have just flown more than 26 hours without using a drop of fuel and without causing any pollution."
During the evening, the plane slowly descended to an altitude of 4,500 feet (1,500 meters), where it remained for the rest of the night using battery power. An hour before dawn, the plane still had six hours of flying time left in its solar-fueled batteries.
07-08-10, 08:26 PM #2The plane is equipped with four electric engines and has a top speed of about 43 miles (70 kilometers) per hour.Idiot
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