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Last Updated: Monday, 1 December, 2003, 18:08 GMT
Solar-powered plane record bid
CGI of solar plane
Jones and Piccard have been working with scientists in Switzerland
Record-breaking balloonist Brian Jones is planning to fly around the world in a solar-powered aircraft.

He will pilot the yet-to-be built plane with his ballooning partner Bertrand Piccard.

The pair completed the first circumnavigation by balloon in March 1999 in Breitling Orbiter 3.

As well as being a world-first, Jones's planned solar aviation feat is designed to raise awareness of green technology and renewable energy

The power of the sun has already put a plane in the air. Helios is an unmanned aircraft part designed by Nasa scientists which first flew in 1999.

But the technology to keep such an aircraft in the air for days rather than hours is still being developed.

Jones and Piccard have been working with scientists in Switzerland for the past three years and insist the feat is possible.

As well as working on the solar plane project, Somerset-based Jones has remained at the forefront of ballooning since his Breitling success.

He was the mission control chief on the recent failed bid to break the world altitude record for a crewed balloon, which was due to take off from Cornwall in September.

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