Plastics-heavy, solar-powered plane will always have Paris


The plane, named Solar Impulse, flew a circuitous route from Brussels through the South of France and then back north, landing after just more than 16 hours in time for the start of the International Paris Air Show. The entire flight consumed zero fuel. If all goes as planned, the plane's crew will next year fly it around the globe.

Pilot André Borschberg took off earlier this week, on Tuesday morning, from Brussels Airport. His route took him around Brussels, then south towards Maubeuge, Reins, Troyes and Avallon. The plane then finally headed back north towards Paris Le Bourget airport for the air show.

The plane will be part of that show (June 20 - 26) and though we doubt we'll see solar-powered passenger planes anytime soon, the feat and aircraft remains an impressive example of design and the use of plastics in light weight. Commented André Borschberg, co-founder and CEO of the Solar Impulse team, "To stay airborne day and night without using any fuel implies making radical energy savings, and this is one way in which aviation can become less of an environmental burden."...
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