Piloted solar plane unveiled Answered
Swiss adventurer Bertrand Piccard has unveiled a prototype of the solar-powered plane he hopes eventually to fly around the world.
The vehicle, spanning 61m but weighing just 1,500kg, will undergo trials to prove it can fly through the night.
The width of a jet airliner, but the weight of a family car, it is possibly the lightest plane (weight-for-size) ever to fly.
When trials have finished - including a transatlantic flight planned for 2012 - the single-seat plane (designated "HB-SIA") should be able to circumnavigate the globe non-stop. Unfortunately, the pilot won't - at 20-25 knots, the flight should take three weeks, too long for a human to go without sleep. Instead, the flight is planned in five-day "hops", each ending with a change in pilot.
Solar Impulse website
BBC Story with video