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Swiss solar-powered plane takes off

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The Solar Impulse takes off for its first international flight to Brussels

The Solar Impulse takes off for its first international flight to Brussels

The Solar Impulse takes off for its first international flight to Brussels

A Swiss solar-powered plane has taken off for its first international flight.

The Solar Impulse team behind the project plans to fly the experimental aircraft to Belgium and France.

The single-seater prototype took off from Payerne airfield in Switzerland at 6.40am on Friday and is expected to reach Brussels airport by nightfall.

The plane with the wingspan of a Boeing 777 made its 2009 maiden flight in Switzerland and further tests have all taken place there.

The flight across France, Luxembourg and Belgium poses a fresh challenge as it requires navigation across international air traffic networks.

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