- Expatica countries
Index Last Var.(%) BEL 20 3083.51 0.32 DAX 9605.08 0.17 IBEX 30 10058.5 -1.04 CAC 40 4387.61 -0.20 FTSE 100 6806.86 -0.05 AEX 397.5 -0.20 DJIA 16272.65 0.46 Nasdaq 4318.933 0.63 FTSE MIB 20298.33 -0.11 TSX Composite 14214.35 0.18 ASX 5415.4 -0.10 Hang seng 22836.96 0.04 Straits Times 3110.78 0.45 ISEQ 20 836.3 0.23 EUR / USD 1.37976 0.67 EUR / GBP 0.82571 0.59 USD / GBP 0.598544 -0.10 Gold 1329.6 -0.13 Oil 108.9 -0.76 Silver 21.28 0.08
25/05/2012Solar plane ends first leg of intercontinental bid
The Swiss sun-powered aircraft Solar Impulse landed safely in Madrid early Friday at the end of the first leg of its attempt at an intercontinental flight without using a drop of fuel.
Pilot Andre Borschberg successfully had launched the plane from an airfield in Payerne in western Switzerlandat around 8:30am (0630 GMT) Thursday, bound for Rabat via Madrid, after a two-hour delay due to foggy conditions.
If successful the 2,500-kilometre (1,550-mile) journey will be the longest to date for the craft after an inaugural flight to Paris and Brussels last year.
Borschberg landed the plane in the Spanish capital in the early hours of Friday and emerged smiling from the cockpit.
"The flight went very well and thanks to the team of meteorologists, everything went according to the plan: it was extraordinary" he said upon arrival for what is expected to be a three-day technical stopover.
"It was incredible to fly alongside the barrier of clouds during most of the flight and not need to hesitate to fly above them. This confirms our confidence in the capacity of solar energy even further," he added.
The high-tech aircraft, which has the wingspan of a large airliner but weighs no more than a saloon car, is fitted with 12,000 solar cells feeding four electric engines.
The trip is intended as a rehearsal in the run-up to the plane's round-the-world flight planned for 2014.
The aircraft made history in July 2010 as the first manned plane to fly around the clock on the sun's energy.
It holds the record for the longest flight by a manned solar-powered aeroplane after staying aloft for 26 hours, 10 minutes and 19 seconds above Switzerland, also setting a record for altitude by flying at 9,235 metres (30,298 feet).
© 2012 AFP
- Most Popular Articles
Meet the most eligible internationals in Spain at Expatica Date!
It's as easy as 1-2-3!
Access Numbers now for all your international calls. Same quality, lower rates. And best of all, you can start calling immediately. No signup, no registration. Try it now!
- Discussion Forums
Monday's Currency Update Weekly currency crunch Expatica End of Week Currency Roundup Expatica's Midweek Currency Update Monday's Currency Update
- Inside Expatica
Expatica's Getting Started section will provide practical information on how you can open a bank account, exchange your driving licence, improve your Spanish, and more.
Here's a guide to an extensive list of groups and clubs in Madrid for expats, from sports groups to social and family gatherings.
A brief introduction to our Tax section for Spain, from help with inheritance tax to accounting advice.
Here's a short introduction to our Banking section for those living in Spain, from what to ask the experts to opening a Spanish bank account.