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Solar plane set to make flight history

Wednesday, May 22, 2013 - 01:12

May 23 - Swiss pilots seeks to make flight history by setting a new distance record on their solar-powered plane. Jessica Gray reports.

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A giant solar-powered plane prepares for takeoff in Phoenix, Arizona. Solar Impulse is the brainchild of two Swiss pilots who are hoping to make flight history. (SOUNDBITE) (English) PILOT ANDRE BORSCHBERG SAYING: "This airplane becomes a symbol, in some ways the ambassador for this kind of vision, reducing or saving energy by using the technologies in the proper kind of way." They are set to attempt a long-distance solar flight record by crossing more than 830 miles to reach Fort Worth, Texas in about 17 hours. The aircraft runs on about the same power as a motor scooter. The energy is collected from the 12,000 solar cells built into the wings that continuously recharge the batteries with a storage capacity equivalent to that of a Tesla electric car. This is the second leg of a cross-country journey that will take the plane all over the United States. Solar Impulse flies about 43 miles per hour and can reach heights of 28,000 feet.

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Solar plane set to make flight history

Wednesday, May 22, 2013 - 01:12