Swiss solar plane to attempt first international flight
Saturday 30 April 2011
Switzerland's solar-powered aircraft is expected to attempt its first international flight as early as next week to Brussels, the team managing the project said on Thursday.
"Solar Impulse, the zero fuel airplane, will attempt to fly to Brussels Airport as the destination for its first international flight," said the team in a statement.
"The airplane will be ready for take-off as from 2 May 2011 and will depart just as soon as the weather permits," it added.
Solar Impulse made history in July 2010 as the first manned plane to fly around the clock on the sun's energy.
But an international flight involving a foreign airport will be a "big technical challenge," acknowledged the team.
Months of preparations have gone into planning and training for the task, and an entire team of experts, including meteorological specialists, route planners, air traffic controllers, engineers and IT specialists have been roped in.
"Flying an aircraft like Solar Impulse through European airspace to land at an international airport is an incredible challenge for all of us, and success depends on the support we receive from all the authorities concerned," said Andre Borschberg, who piloted July's flight.
The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations
- 2 18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
- 3 US? China? India? The 10 biggest economies in 2030 will be...
- 4 'I wish my teacher knew...': Young students share their 'heartbreaking' worries in notes
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
£24000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: With offices in Manchester, Lon...
Competitive (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a number of Marketi...
£20000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This well established business ...
£25000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Management Accountant - Manchester...