Solar Impulse, an aircraft powered only by the sun, is preparing for a 20-day (and 20-night) round-the-world flight in 2015.
That, at least, is the goal of its Swiss creators Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg. Bertrand is a psychiatrist who learned to fly just 6 years ago. Andre is a pilot and engineer who had never built an airplane before Solar Impulse.
A series of shorter flights have proven the plane’s airworthiness and a recent all-night flight, using solar energy stored in batteries during the day, has opened the door to longer flights. While not the world’s first solar-powered aircraft, Solar Impulse is the first to fly all night.
The complete story aired on tonight’s “60 Minutes.” You can watch the entire segment or read the transcript at CBS News. The plane is beautiful; the technology is exciting; the story is inspiring. You won’t be sorry.