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A team of adventurers and engineers behind the Solar Impulse project have designed a solar powered plane that can fly at night!

Having already accomplished a 15 hour flight, during the day, the technicians hoped the Solar Impulses's batteries charged from 12,000 solar cells fixed to the wings and body would keep the four plane engines airborne through the night.

On July 7, Andre Borschnerg, CEO and co-founder of the Solar Impulse project expertly powered the solar aircraft with its 64 meter wingspan for more than 26 hours. The aircraft which took off in Western Switzerland, was up in the air for a whole day and an entire night flying soley on solar energy. It landed successfully on July 8 at 9:00am to cheers from a big crowd out to celebrate the amazing accomplishment. This marked the highest and longest flight in the history of solar aviation!

AndrĂ© Borschberg, CEO and co-founder of the Solar Impulse project, spoke with tears in his eyes upon leaving the cockpit “I have just flown more than 26 hours without using a drop of fuel and without causing any pollution!” That's what dreams are made of, and the work of the last 11 years by Andre and his team is paying off.

This is a crucial step towards renewable enrgies and clean technologies. The next important milestones for Solar Impulse will be the crossing the Atlantic and the around the world flight, using the second prototype which goes into construction this summer.

Maximum speed was 68 knots
Maximum altitude: 8720m


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