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Solar powered plane completes night long flight over Switzerland news
10 July 2010

The Solar Impulse cruised at a height of 28,000 feet and a top speed of 78 mph in what, according to project coordinators was the longest test flight of a piloted, solar-powered aircraft.

"We don't need to prolong the flight," a project team said in a tweet yesterday morning. "Everything we wanted to prove with this flight has been proven ... and more."

The solar plane project got underway in 2003 under the guidance of Bertrand Piccard, the first person to fly around the world nonstop in a balloon.

"This is a highly symbolic moment: Flying by night using solely solar power is a stunning manifestation of the potential that clean technologies offer today to reduce the dependency of our society on fossil fuels," said Piccard, in a statement.

The aircraft piloted by ex-Swiss air force pilot, Andre Borschberg, 57, landed from where it had taken off in Payerne, Switzerland.

According to analysts, the flight would help organisers gather support for solar power and solar-powered vehicles, in particular.





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Solar powered plane completes night long flight over Switzerland