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Last Updated: Thursday July 08 2010 15:31 GMT

Solar plane breaks flight record

See what you think of the plane

An experimental solar-powered aircraft that took off on Wednesday has landed safely after flying through the night.

It's a step towards what the people who created it are aiming for: a plane that can circle the world using only the power of the Sun.

The plane uses super-efficient solar cells and batteries to stay in the air after the Sun goes down at night.

It touched down at a Swiss airport after flying for 26 hours straight, and reaching 8,700 metres up in the sky.

When the plane landed it still had three hours of power left in its batteries, so it could have flown for even longer.

Solar plane

When it landed, ground staff rushed over to the plane to make sure the huge wingspan (63 metres) didn't scrape the ground and topple it over.


It's the longest and highest flight recorded by a solar-powered plane.

It has 12,000 solar cells on its wings that collect enough energy from the Sun's rays to power the plane for the flight.

The designers say that this proves a plane can be kept in the air around the clock.

Now they're going to build a newer model of the plane, which they're hoping to be able to fly around the globe by 2013.

How the plane works