After soaring into the skies early this morning, the solar-powered Solar Impulse plane has completed its first international flight, traveling from its home of Switzerland to Brussels in about 13 hours--without the need for fuel and without producing any pollution.
Flown by pilot Andre Borschberg, the plane took off from its home base at Payerne Airfield at 8:40 a.m., a bit later than planned due to foggy weather conditions. Climbing to an altitude of more than 3,800 meters (approximately 12,467 feet, or 2.36 miles), the plane headed toward France and Luxembourg, and landed in Brussels airport at 9:38 p.m. The plane was originally due to land at 9 p.m., but the early-morning delay extended the arrival time.
The first international flight was expected to be especially challenging. Not only does the Solar Impulse rely on the power of the sun to keep it aloft during the day, but the plane was also set to navigate through standard commercial air traffic and possible turbulence as it soared over the different countries.… Read more