Solar Impulse Aims for 2015 Around World Flight
With a recent record-setting intercontinental flight using only the power of the sun still fresh in their minds, Bertrand Piccard and his partner Andre Borschberg are now setting their sights on the future. The duo that took wing on the Solar Impulse aircraft from Switzerland to Morocco and back again, are now planning for a world tour, becoming the only people to fly around the world in a solar-powered plane both day and night.
The story comes to us by way of Bob Simon, a news correspondent for CBS, who spoke with Piccard and Borschberg about their record-breaking attempts and their new plans to circumnavigate the earth in 20 days and 20 nights without a single drop of fuel. The story was featured Sunday night on CBS’s “60 Minutes.”
The duo’s Solar Impulse currently holds the record for the longest flight by a manned solar-powered aircraft, flying at an altitude of 30,000 feet for more than 26 hours. The plane, which uses no traditional fuel whatsoever, operates on four propeller engines that are powered by 12,000 solar cells attached to the craft’s massive wings. While it isn’t the first plane to ever be powered solely by the sun, it is the first to fly both at day and at night.
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The longest solar-powered flights in 2014 could last up to five days.
Flight between Europe and North Africa will take 48-hours and cover 2,500 km.
Solar-powered Solar Impulse will fly from Madrid to Rabat, Morocco once weather improves.
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