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Switzerland: "Revolutionary" solar powered air-craft takes flight01:03

Switzerland: "Revolutionary" solar powered air-craft takes flight

Switzerland, Payerne,
June 2, 2014 at 00:45 GMT +00:00 · Published

Swiss residents witnessed the first flight of the "revolutionary" solar-powered Solar Impulse 2 aeroplane on Monday in Payerne. Solar Impulse is currently the only aeroplane able to fly day and night on solar power without needing fuel.

A single-seater aircraft constructed with carbon fibre, the Solar Impulse 2 has a wingspan of 72 metres (236 ft) and weighs 2,300 kg (5070 lb). In order to function at night, the aircraft recharges 633 kg (2077 lb) of lithium batteries by day and can reach speeds of upto 140 km/h (86 miles).

Andre Borschberg, a co-founder of the project, describes the aircraft as being the first aircraft that comes close to "perpetual flight."

Switzerland: "Revolutionary" solar powered air-craft takes flight01:03
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Description

Swiss residents witnessed the first flight of the "revolutionary" solar-powered Solar Impulse 2 aeroplane on Monday in Payerne. Solar Impulse is currently the only aeroplane able to fly day and night on solar power without needing fuel.

A single-seater aircraft constructed with carbon fibre, the Solar Impulse 2 has a wingspan of 72 metres (236 ft) and weighs 2,300 kg (5070 lb). In order to function at night, the aircraft recharges 633 kg (2077 lb) of lithium batteries by day and can reach speeds of upto 140 km/h (86 miles).

Andre Borschberg, a co-founder of the project, describes the aircraft as being the first aircraft that comes close to "perpetual flight."