Solar Impulse Preps For First International Flight

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The team behind Solar Impulse plans to take the plane on its first international flight next month, leaving from Brussels on May 2, the Associated Press reports.

The team behind Solar Impulse plans to take the plane on its first international flight next month, leaving from Brussels on May 2, the Associated Press reports.

Bertrand Piccard, the man who co-piloted the first non-stop round-the-world balloon flight, is leading the Solar Impulse team.

The flight will be a "big challenge" as the plane will have to cross international air traffic networks, and all depends on the team getting the OK by authorities.

The plane, which has the wingspan of a Boeing 777, made its maiden voyage in Switzerland in 2009.


In July 2010, the plane completed its first 24-hour flight, showing naysayers that the plane can collect enough energy from the sun during the day to stay aloft at night. Eventually, the team hopes to circumnavigate the globe.


The plane is expected to show at the 49th International Paris Air Show in June.

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Solar Impulse Preps For First International Flight (PHOTOS)

Solar Impulse's maiden voyage. 

(AP Photo/Christian Hartmann, pool)

(AP Photo/Denis Balibouse,Pool)

(AP Photo/Keystone/Denis Balibouse/Pool)

Pilot Andre Borschberg gives a thumb up prior to take off. (AP Photo/Keystone/Fabrice Coffrini/Pool)

(AP Photo/Keystone, Denis Balibouse, Pool)

The airplane stands on the runway after its first successful night flight attempt at Payerne airport, Thursday, July 8, 2010. (AP Photo/Keystone, Denis Balibouse, Pool)

Solar Impulse's Chief Executive Officer and pilot Andre Borschberg flies in the solar-powered HB-SIA prototype airplane during its first successful night flight attempt at Payerne airport, Thursday, July 8, 2010. The aircraft took off July 7 at 06:51 am and reached an altitude of 28,543 feet by the end of the day.

(AP Photo/Keystone, Denis Balibouse, Pool)

(AP Photo/Keystone, Denis Balibouse, Pool)

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