Solar-Powered Plane To Make First Trans-Mediterranean Flight

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A team of Swiss engineers have announced their plan to fly the world's most advanced solar-powered airplane across the Mediterranean in 2012, then around the world in 2014.

Encouraged by a recent flight to Belgium and France, the team is considering flying to Morocco next year.

The pilot and engineers on the Solar Impulse team will be challenged by the trans-Mediterranean trip as the plane is very sensitive to turbulence. It will also have to remain airborne for 48 hours.

Pilot Andre Borschberg told the Associated Press: "We'd like to be able to do flights of a duration of two days, two nights, which is a big challenge for only one person on board."

Borschberg added that if the 1,200-mile trip to Morocco from Switzerland is successful, the team will attempt flying onward to Turkey before returning home.

Last year, Borschberg completed a 26-hour nonstop test to prove that the 12,000 solar cells attached to the Solar Impulse's 207-foot wingspan can absorb enough sunlight to keep the four-engine plane in the air through the night. What is one more day?



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