September 8, 2010

Solar Impulse Plane To Make More Flights

The Solar Impulse team, which successfully conducted a round-the-clock flight powered only by the sun, said Tuesday it will next plan three test flights across Switzerland as it prepares the plane for longer journeys.

"Solar Impulse HB-SIA, the solar-powered aircraft... will undertake three flights, Payerne-Geneva, Geneva-Zurich and Zurich-Payerne, with no fuel," the team said in a statement.

The team hopes the tests will "contribute to opening a new era of aviation."

The plane will first fly from western Switzerland's military base, Payerne, and land at Geneva International Airport. It will then fly from Geneva to northern Switzerland's International Airport, and then make one more flight from Zurich back to Payerne.

The date for the test flights has not been confirmed, but a spokeswoman told the AFP news agency it would most likely take place in September.

The flights will train the team to work outside their bases as well as to collaborate with international airports. The team said the "The objective is to prepare the long-distance flights scheduled for next year."

The Solar Impulse project came into existence seven years ago with the sights set on ocean crossings, transcontinental and global flights by 2014.


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