Over upcoming flights, the distance and duration of each flight will be extended. The first flight that will be held both during the day and the night is scheduled to occur in the summer of 2010.
At that time, the plane will remain in the air for about 36 hours. Eventually, test flights will occur to test the plane's ability to stay in the air for around the world ventures of four to six days.
Piccard, stated, "We still have a long way to go until the night flights and an even longer way before flying round the world, but today, thanks to the extraordinary work of an entire team, an essential step towards achieving our vision has been taken."
He adds, "Our future depends on our ability to convert rapidly to the use of renewable energies. Solar Impulse is intended to demonstrate what can be done already today by using these energies and applying new technologies that can save natura l resources."
Check out the YouTube video of the takeoff and flight of the Solar Impulse HB-SIA at 'Swiss Test of Round-the-world Solar Plane.'
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