Solar-powered plane nears 14-day target

22 Jul 2010
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Solar power

The solar-powered Zephyr plane will complete its 14-day trip tomorrow (July 23rd 2010), securing its place in the record books.

It had previously stayed in the air for a number of days, but due to adjudicators not being present at the time, the record could not stand.

However, when the Zephyr lands after this mammoth trip, on which it has lasted on solar power alone, it will secure itself a new world record for the longest ever solar-powered flight.

The Independent reports that the technology means that air travel could save on carbon emissions in the future by following the lead of the Zephyr and utilising solar power.

"Solar-powered planes such as these don't release carbon dioxide while in flight and therefore are far more environmentally-friendly," it said.

Project manager Jon Saltmarsh told BBC News earlier this week that the world record attempt signifies a milestone for the Zephyr plane.

He added that it proves the technology contained in the aircraft can now be used for practical purposes.

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