This latest flight – 1,554 miles in all – dwarfed the solar plane’s inaugural flight last year, when it went 340 miles on a journey between France and Belgium.
“It shows solar energy is a technology that we can trust,” Borschberg said at the landing in Morocco.
A plane this light and of this size has never been built before. Piccard and Borschberg spent seven years developing the craft which has the wingspan of an Airbus A340 (63.4 meters) and yet weighs only as much as an average family car.
The revolutionary carbon fiber aircraft has 12,000 solar cells built into its wing that during flight recharge a set of four 400-kilo lithium batteries housed in the engine pods. The plane averages about 8 horsepower – similar to what the Wright Brothers managed when they first flew in 1903.
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