- Aug 10, 2004
While a wonderful idea, and I'm all for the technology, this seems to be a bit of a reach. Of course all break throughs are, and I want this to work, but.....
A Swiss adventurer announced this week he plans to fly around the world in a solar powered airplane.
Bertrand Piccard is building the craft, called Solar Impluse, with the help of the European Space Agency (ESA). The purpose of his flight, scheduled for 2010, is to show what renewable energies and new technologies can do.
"Solar Impulse will promote the idea of a new aviation era using cleaner planes powered by the almost infinite energy of the Sun rather than the dirty, finite reserves of fossil fuels," Piccard said.
The space agency relies on the Sun to power its satellites, and has developed "efficient solar cells, intelligent energy management systems and resourceful storage systems," said Pierre Brisson, head of ESAs Technology Transfer Program.
"We will make available this expertise, together with our advanced technologies, to support Piccards effort to demonstrate the potential of sustainable development," Brisson said.
In 1999, Piccard made the first non-stop around the world balloon-flight. His copilot for that flight, Brian Jones, will be one of Solar Impulses three pilots. When Solar Impulse makes its journey in 2010, Piccard and Andre Borschberg, Solar Impulses CEO, will join Jones in the cockpit.
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