Solar-powered plane prepares for aviation history

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A dainty solar-powered plane with wings the width of a giant Airbus will retrace exploits in aviation history, including Charles Lindbergh’s first ever transatlantic crossing, before a pioneering round-the-world flight in 2011, project leaders said Tuesday.
The “Solar Impulse” project led by Swiss round-the-world balloon pioneer Bertrand Piccard, undertook real-time computer simulations of a circumnavigation this week, a year before a prototype is due to take to the air.

The virtual flights, which can be followed on the Internet, are designed to replicate long-distance journeys through existing, real weather conditions by the high-tech but lightweight and slow-moving aircraft .

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