Solar Impulse reaches Paris ahead of Air Show

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The Independent Travel

Solar Impulse, a new aircraft powered only by the sun, has landed in Paris ahead of its guest appearance at the Paris Air Show next week.

The solar-powered plane, which made its first international flight May 13, completed the 636 nautical-mile flight between Brussels and Paris earlier this week.

The journey on June 14 took some 16 hours, according to the Solar Impulse team, and was the second attempt after the initial flight was abandoned due to poor weather conditions.

Next week, Solar Impulse will be one of the star attractions of the huge Paris Air Show at Le Bourget, one of the biggest events in the aviation calendar for both industry executives and aviation fans.

The plane will be on static display every afternoon from 2.30PM, as well as taking to the sky every morning for a eco-friendly - and nearly silent - flying display.

However, as the plane is powered entirely by the sun's energy and flies at a relatively slow speed, the Solar Impulse team stresses that the displays are weather-permitting.

Other highlights of the show include the first public flight demonstrations of the hybrid X3 helicopter from Eurocopter, a unique design which uses traditional helicopter blades and short wings with mounted propellers to give it a faster cruise speed.

Boeing will also debut its new 747-8 Intercontinental, a stretched jumbo jet which the US plane maker hopes will help it gain ground on Airbus, the manufacturer of the A380 "superjumbo".

The Paris Air Show runs June 20-26 at Le Bourget Airport in Paris.

http://www.solarimpulse.com/

http://www.paris-air-show.com/

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