Science & Technology
Solar plane begins record-breaking flight
By T.K. Randall
March 9, 2015 · 7 comments
Solar Impulse 2 preparing for takeoff. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 4.0 Milko Vuille
Two pilots are attempting to fly around the world in a solar powered airplane called Solar Impulse 2.
Swiss pilots Andre Borschberg and Bertrand Piccard will be flying the aircraft during the record-breaking attempt that will see it circumnavigate the globe beginning and ending at Abu Dhabi.
Powered by nothing but the sun, the plane will stop several times along the way for the pilots to rest and to carry out maintenance. The first leg of the journey began earlier this morning and will see Andre Borschberg fly 400km to the first stop in Oman.
"I am confident we have a very special aeroplane, and it will have to be to get us across the big oceans," he said. "We may have to fly for 5 days and 5 nights to do that, and it will be a challenge."
The record attempt comes just a few months after the International Energy Agency announced that solar energy was likely to become the world's dominant form of power by the year 2050.
"I had this dream 16 years ago of flying around the world without fuel, just on solar power," said Piccard. "Now, we're about to do it. The passion is there and I look forward so much to being in the cockpit."
Source: BBC News
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