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Transportation Power Technology

Solar-Powered Plane Makes First Successful Flight 118

Posted by timothy
from the finally-a-daytime-launch dept.
lilbridge writes "The Solar Impulse, a solar-powered plane covered in 12,000 solar cells, took its maiden flight today in Switzerland. The plane stayed aloft for 87 minutes, performing test maneuvers as well as completing a successful takeoff and landing. With the first test flight behind them, the developers can focus on gearing up for their around-the-world solar powered flight set for 2012."
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Solar-Powered Plane Makes First Successful Flight

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  • 44mph (Score:3, Interesting)

    by MooseTick (895855) on Wednesday April 07, 2010 @01:58PM (#31764086) Homepage

    The article says the plane averages 44mph (70kph). At that rate it will take about 24 days to circle the earth if they tried it in a single flight. Hopefully they will be able to get a little more speed before they try that.

  • by MozeeToby (1163751) on Wednesday April 07, 2010 @02:52PM (#31764792)

    It's just an underpowered and fragile disaster waiting to happen.

    Saying this about a project an engineer has devoted 7 years of their life to is an attack on that engineer. It implies that they don't know what they're doing, that they're uninformed, that they're idiots. Thinking that you can outsmart someone who is demonstrably more knowledgeable and experienced about the subject (unless of course you happen to have a solar powered plane in your garage) insults that person.

One small step for man, one giant stumble for mankind.

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