by Staff Writers
Brussels (AFP) June 13, 2011
Swiss solar-powered aircraft Solar Impulse will attempt to reach Paris from Brussels on Tuesday after a previous flight was aborted due to technical problems, its team said.
The plane took off Saturday for its second international flight between the capitals but pilot Andre Borschberg turned back after a series of glitches.
The team has been waiting for the weather to improve before trying again.
"Solar Impulse will attempt to exploit a narrow weather window between two rain fronts to take off from Brussels on Tuesday," said a statement posted at www.solarimpulse.com.
The craft is expected to reach Le Bourget north of Paris at about 9:00 pm (1900 GMT) where it will be the guest of honour at the International Aviation and Space Salon opening on June 20.
"There is not much time left now to prepare for the show and the team cannot afford to have another setback," the statement said.
"As the weather conditions over the last few days only allowed the batteries to be recharged by sunlight to 60 percent, the decision was taken to complete the remaining 40 percent with conventional power.
"No record claim will be made this flight. The prototype will take off with fully-charged batteries so it will not be disadvantaged, as was the case on Saturday, by cloud cover and headwinds."
Heavy rain and strong winds prevented the plane from taking off at its scheduled time at the weekend.
Once in the air it turned back, with the project's ground control team reporting that Borschberg had encountered problems retracting the landing gear.
The ultimate goal of the Swiss-based team is to attempt a round the world tour in five stages in 2013 or 2014.
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Chemistry with sunlight
St Louis MO (SPX) Jun 13, 2011
The idea is simple, says Kevin Moeller, PhD, and yet it has huge implications. All we are recommending is using photovoltaic cells (clean energy) to power electrochemical reactions (clean chemistry). Moeller is the first to admit this isn't new science. "But we hope to change the way people do this kind of chemistry by making a connection for them between two existing technologies," he say ... read more
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