Solar plane on maiden flight

An experimental plane, powered only by rays from the sun, has taken off from Switzerland for its first 24-hour test flight. The “Solar Impulse” took off on Wednesday from Payerne airfield shortly after dawn. Clear blue skies meant that the prototype aircraft was able to soak up plenty of solar energy as it made a gradual ascent to a final altitude to 27900 feet or 8500 metres. As the sun began to set, a decision needed to be made whether to continue through the night using solar power stored in its batteries, or whether to land. Al Jazeera’s Charles Straford reports on the experimental plane.

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