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Solar-Powered Airplane Completes First International Flight 211

liqs8143 writes "Solar Impulse, a fully solar-powered airplane, has completed its first international solar-powered flight. After a flight lasting 12 hours 59 minutes at an altitude of 12,400 feet, using no fuel and propelled by solar energy alone, Solar Impulse HB-SIA landed safely in Brussels, Switzerland. After the landing, company co-founder Bertrand Piccard said, 'Our goal is to create a revolution in the minds of the people . . . to promote solar energies — not necessarily a revolution in aviation.' Compared with 2003, energy efficiency has increased from 16 to 22 percent. And the cells are now half as thick. The project has a total cost of $88 million, which is funded by mostly-Swiss partners and public donations."

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