Solar Impulse Successfully Completes 26-Hour Test Flight In Switzerland

Posted on July 9th, 2010 by

The Solar Impulse completes its first 26 hour test flight in Switzerland, President Obama visits the Green Impact Zone in Kansas City and Germany trying to become first country to generate 100% of its power from renewable energy.


Leading off, a solar-powered aircraft called the Solar Impulse successfully completed a 26-hour test flight in Switzerland. Piloted by Andre Borschberg, the unqiue aircraft’s almost 12,000 solar cells attached to its 206 foot wingspan generated enough power to keep the Solar Impulse in the air during the night. The plane batteries still had six hours of flying time left at dawn yesterday.  As a result of this successful test, a second airplane will be designed with hopes to now to fly across continents and the Atlantic Ocean sometime next year.

Yesterday, President Obama visited Smith Electric’s new 800,000 sq. ft. electric-vehicle factory in Kansas City. Missouri. Smith Electric has received a $32 million grant from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to build up to all-electric trucks. The plant will create more than 220 jobs and is a part of an established “Green Impact Zone” which is a 150-block area that Kansas City is trying to develop into a sustainable community. Up to 500 all-electric trucks will be made from the plant this year and Coca-Cola and AT&T will incorporate the vehicles into their existing fleets and test them for efficiency.

And finally, Germany has announced that they are going to try to become the first major industrial nation to generate all of its electricity from renewable energy. Already generating 16% of its electricity from wind, solar and other renewable sources the country has set a deadline of 2050 to meet their 100% renewable goal. Germany is currently the largest developer of photovoltaics and the second-biggest producer of wind energy, behind just the US. Through an aggressive Renewable Energy Act, the country has been able to create more than 300,000 jobs in the sector over the last 10 years.

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