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World first solar-powered plane is going to get it first pilot test flight in February 2010. Mr. Enter Bertrand Piccard, an excel Swiss adventurer is going to command the one person aircraft designed by Solar Impulse firm.
The plane’s wings are equipped with solar panel for harvesting solar energy during the flight. The plane weigh only 1,500kg (same as a Toyota Camry) due to the carbon-fiber materials. If the pilot test successful, there will be an attempt for Trans-Atlantic flight in 2012.
As the alternative revolution to fossil fuel, believably solar powered planes be another alternative that would flourish during the next decade?
But is there any protection for the passengers riding a light-weight solar powered plane? Will the plane stands the extreme weather changes or blow of strong winds and strong winds currents in the future?
These are crucial factors for building a better alternative energy planes, since in the last few years we have witnessed a dramatic climate changes around the globe.
Describes Solar Impulse chief executive Andre Borschberg in an interview with BBC News, “This is truly a new design – an airplane the size of an Airbus and the weight of a mid-sized car – so we’re not taking risks by not understanding something.”
On Thursday and Friday the prototype aircraft saw its first action outside the hangar, taxing around the runway, first with a protective trolley and later without. The testing went smoothly with a Solar Impulse spokesperson stating, “It was just fantastic today. We are very excited about it.”
In about two weeks the plane will attempt a very short flight, a so-called “flea hop”. States Mr. Borschberg, “We’ll take off at the beginning of the runway, fly a few metres above it – a little bit like the Wright brothers did in 1903 – and then land again, to see how it behaves at the beginning of the flight.”
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