Solar plane lands after record 26-hour flight
An experimental solar powered plane landed safely Thursday in Switzerland after completing a record 26-hour long flight. Being able to fly at night is a key step for the "Solar Impulse" team towards flying around the globe using only solar energy.
AFP - An experimental solar powered aircraft landed in Switzerland on Thursday at 9.01 am (0701 GMT), after completing a historic flight lasting some 26 hours.
AFP reporters watched the experimental Solar Impulse aircraft with pilot Andre Borschberg onboard make a seamless landing at Payerne airbase in western Switzerland about three hours after daybreak.
"It's the first time ever that a solar airplane has flown through the night," said team chief Bertrand Piccard earlier.
The high-tech single-seater aircraft took off from Payerne in the early hours (0451 GMT) of Wednesday.
Solar Impulse was attempting the first such manned flight on purely solar energy, defying the hours of darkness to keep aloft for a day and a night.