Solar Plane Completes 24-hour Flight

The Solar Impulse (previously at Neatorama), an experimental electric plane with rechargeable solar batteries, has completed a 24-hour continuous flight, with no fuel. The flight proves that the plane's solar collectors can store enough energy through the day to last through the night.
Pilot Andre Borschberg eased the Solar Impulse onto the runway at Payerne airfield about 30 miles southwest of the Swiss capital Bern at exactly 9 a.m. (3 a.m. EDT) Thursday.

Helpers rushed to stabilize the pioneering plane as it touched down, ensuring that its massive 207-foot wingspan didn't scrape the ground and topple the craft.

The record feat completes seven years of planning and brings the Swiss-led project one step closer to its goal of circling the globe using only energy from the sun.

"We achieved more than we wanted. Everybody is extremely happy," Borschberg told reporters after landing.

The flight proves that, theoretically, the plane could stay in flight indefinitely. The next goal: crossing the Atlantic. Link -via reddit

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We are on the verge of making oil obsolete for transportation. Oil is already obsolete for ground vehicles. We have already proven that cars, trucks and trains can run on electricity alone. This solar powered plane is beginning to prove that we can also run planes on electricity.
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It's an important proof of concept, certainly, but they're a way from flying indefinitely. At the very least, they have to prove they can do this in winter.

They just migrate south in winter ;)
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The flight proves that the plane’s solar collectors can store enough energy through the day to last through the night.

Not quite. You need to look at the sunrise and sunset times. At this time of year, and in that location, all that's been proved is that the plane can collect enough energy in 15 hours of daylight to sustain a 9 hour night flight (roughly). It's an important proof of concept, certainly, but they're a way from flying indefinitely. At the very least, they have to prove they can do this in winter.
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