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Solar Powered Airplane Flies From San Francisco To Phoenix

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Flying High and Clean

Meet the the Solar Impulse, the first solar powered airplane that can fly day and night.

In early May of 2013, it completed the first leg of a fuel free odyssey across America, flying from San Francisco to Phoenix. The aircraft will fly across the USA and end up at JFK Airport in New York City.

There are 1,200 solar cells built into it's wings to insure enough solar power is absorbed and stored during the dark hours.

It cost $140 million dollars, and was developed by Swiss inventors Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg.

For comparison, a 747 uses a gallon of fuel every second that it's in the air, this video tells us!

It may be a long time before solar-powered flight proves practical for passenger service, but the Swiss sponsors are more interested in the environmentally friendly technologies behind the project. This includes everything from from more efficient solar power generation to lightweight carbon composite materials. The motivation being to develop products for applications on the ground.

Bon Voyage!

--Bibi Farber

To see more about this historic journey, visit: