Solar powered plane takes 'last rehearsal' flight over Mediterranean

   May 25, 6:48 pm

London, May 25 (ANI): A solar powered plane takes off for its "last rehearsal" before a round-the-world attempt in 2014.

The Solar Impulse took off on the world's first cross-Mediterranean flight from an airfield in western Switzerland and is scheduled to make a stopover in Spain after a 20-hour flight, before finally flying to the Moroccan capital Rabat on Monday.

This last rehearsal flight will help prepare the pilots for an attempt at a round-the-world journey.

"Today it's the last rehearsal for the flight around the world in 2014. For Andre and myself as pilots and for the entire team, the mission control team and technical team," the Telegraph quoted Solar Impulse founder, Bertrand Piccard, as telling a news agency.

Pilot Andre Borschberg, who was flying the aircraft to Madrid, found it "rewarding" that the plane flies only using solar power.

"Well the most fun is to be able to go up to 9,000 metres with solar energy, and the more I will fly during the day, the more energy I will collect even in the batteries, so that's very impressing, very different.

"That's extremely rewarding that we're able to go to Madrid and generate energy at the same time, so that's a big big gift," Borschberg told reporters before take off.

The Solar Impulse project began in 2003 with a 10-year budget of 90 million euros and has involved engineers from Swiss lift maker Schindler and research aid from Belgian chemicals group Solvay.

The plane, which requires 12,000 solar cells, embarked on its first flight in April 2010 and completed a 26-hour flight three months later, setting a record flying time for a solar powered aircraft.

In 2011, the plane and its crew completed the world's first international flights with a solar-powered airplane as they landed at Brussels and Paris airports.

With an average flying speed of 70 kmph (44 mph), Solar Impulse is not an immediate threat to commercial jets, which can easily cruise at more than 10 times that speed. (ANI)

South American tarantula gets John Lennon's moniker Oct 21, 4:37 pm
Washington, Oct 21 (ANI): Scientists have named a newly described tarantula species from Western Brazilian Amazonia as 'Bumba lennoni' 'in honor of John Lennon, a founder member of the legendary band the Beatles.
Full Story
Now, electronic 'EyeCane' that enables the blind Oct 21, 4:37 pm
Washington, Oct 21 (ANI): A new Electronic travel aids (ETA), the "EyeCane," has been developed that is tactile and provide auditory cues that can enhance the mobility of blind users.
Full Story
Why some of us suffer from 'winter blues' revealed Oct 21, 2:29 pm
Washington, Oct 21 (ANI): A new study has shed light on why some people suffer from the winter blues while others get through the winter without any problems.
Full Story
Scientists may soon 'switch off' cancer cells spread Oct 21, 1:15 pm
Washington, Oct 21 (ANI): A new research has explained how studying the diversity of cancer cells could help turn off mutations in cancer cells and strip their adaptability to drugs.
Full Story
Comments

LATEST STORIES
TOP VIDEO STORIES
PHOTO GALLERY