Solar Impulse Preps For First International Flight (PHOTOS)

by Kate Auletta Subscribe to Kate Auletta's posts Posted Apr 28th 2011 09:00 AM



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.

Filed Under: Air Travel, News