blair1q writes “When the solar aircraft Solar Impulse lifts off from an airfield in Switzerland on a sunny day at the end of June, it will begin the first ever manned night flight on a plane propelled exclusively by power it collects from the sun. Former Swiss Air Force pilot Andre Borschberg and round-the-world balloonist Bertrand Piccard developed the aircraft, and Borschberg will be the pilot for this mission. ‘The flight will require a lot of attention and concentration — the plane doesn’t have an auto-pilot, it has to be flown for 24 hours straight.’ For him, the most exciting part of the venture is ‘being on the plane during the day and seeing the amount of energy increasing instead of decreasing as on a normal aircraft.’”

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