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Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Solar powered Airplane

In an attempt to score another landmark achievement for green energy, two pilots are hoping to make the first around-the-world trip in a solar-powered airplane. The pair started the project back in 2003, with a 10-year budget of over $100 million, and the help of Swiss engineers and Belgian researchers. The plane, dubbed the Solar Impulse, took off on the first-leg of the journey on Friday, leaving San Francisco Bay on a slow-speed flight to Phoenix. They expect to make several stops on their trip across country, as they wait for favorable weather, and they expect to make it to New York's J.F.K. International airport in about two months. Although the plane may not break any speed records, it represents a huge breakthrough in the use of green energy. The Solar Impulse is a test model for a more sophisticated plane that the pair hopes to build next, which will allow for higher speeds and longer flights. One of the pilots spoke to reporters before the first flight, and said, "If we don't try to fly today using renewable energy, we never will."

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