Preparations for round-the-world solar-powered flight gizmag

Humans have now spent more than a 100 years under the spell of powered flight, regularly achieving milestones previously thought impossible and developing faster, bigger, deadlier, and more efficient aircraft in which to take to the skies. The challenges show no sign of abating as the second century of aviation begins, not just in terms of sheer human endeavour, but in respect to critical questions of environmental sustainability and renewable energy. The team that accomplished the first ever non-stop round-the-world flight in a balloon back in 1999 is embarking on a new project that will take see it repeat the journey – but this time it’s in a solar-powered aircraft. Bertrand Piccard along with Andre Borschberg (an engineer and pilot and the Swiss Federal Institute for Technology (EPFL) and Brian Jones (who co-piloted on the Breitling Orbiter 3 on its record round-the-world flight) are aiming to complete a full night in the air during the first 36 hour solar-powered round-the-world flight during 2009.