Solar plane takes off

2011-05-13 12:36
The solar powered aircraft Solar Impulse, steered by test pilot Markus Scherdel, is silhouetted by the sun during its maiden flight at the military airport in Payerne, Switzerland. (AP)

The solar powered aircraft Solar Impulse, steered by test pilot Markus Scherdel, is silhouetted by the sun during its maiden flight at the military airport in Payerne, Switzerland. (AP)

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Geneva - A Swiss solar-powered plane has taken off for its first international flight.

The Solar Impulse team behind the project plans to fly the experimental aircraft to Belgium and France.

The single-seat prototype took off from Payerne airfield in Switzerland at 08:40 (06:40 GMT) on Friday and is expected to reach Brussels airport by nightfall.

The plane with the wingspan of a Boeing 777 made its 2009 maiden flight in Switzerland and further tests have all taken place there.

The flight across France, Luxembourg and Belgium poses a fresh challenge as it requires navigation across international air traffic networks.

Read more on:    technology  |  solar power
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