A solar energy plane made the world’s first international flight powered by the sun on Friday to show the potential for pollution-free air travel.
The Solar Impulse took off from an airfield at Payerne in western Switzerland on Friday morning and landed at Brussels airport after a 13-hour flight.
“The objective is to demonstrate what we can do with existing technology in terms of renewable energy and energy savings,” project co-founder and pilot Andre Borschberg told Reuters by telephone during the flight.
The Solar Impulse project began in 2003 with a 10-year budget of 90 million euros ($128 million) and has involved engineers from Swiss lift maker Schindler and research aid from Belgian chemicals group Solvay.
The plane, which requires 12,000 solar cells, embarked on its first flight in April 2010 and completed a 26-hour flight, a record flying time for a solar powered aircraft, three months later. Via Reuters