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Solar-powered plane makes first leg crossing USA

Solar-powered plane makes first leg crossing USAThe innovative solar-powered aircraft, Solar Impulse has launched from California on a flight across the USA, the first of its kind aiming to showcase what is possible without fossil fuels.

Solar Impulse, took off from San Francisco, California and landed in Phoenix, Arizona, some 18 hours later. The craft will stop over in Dallas, St Louis, Washington DC and New York in the coming weeks.

The experimental plane, with the wingspan of a Boeing 747 but the weight of a small car, bears 12,000 solar cells.

By day, the cells power the plane’s electric motors while also charging batteries, so the plane, unlike other solar aircraft, can keep flying all night. The project was launched more than a decade ago, after inveterate adventurer Bertrand Piccard, 54, nearly ran out of fuel on his historic non-stop round-the-world balloon flight. The Swiss psychiatrist decided to re-attempt the journey; Solar Impulse aims to launch its flight in 2015, without using any fossil fuel.

“Before, when you were talking about exploration, it was more about conquering the world, conquering territories.
“Now the real adventure is to make the world more sustainable, and to try to find solutions with the currently available technologies, to use what we currently have and adapt it,” Spokeswoman Alenka Zibetto said.

Source : Aerospace testing International @rrajowan

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Rajowan Syed

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