solar-impulse-plane.jpgA solar-powered airplane designed to fly day and night without fuel or emissions successfully made its first test flight above the Swiss countryside on Wednesday.

The Solar Impulse, which has 12,000 solar cells built into its wings, is a prototype for an aircraft intended to fly around the world without fuel in 2012.

It took six years to build the carbon fiber aircraft, which has the wingspan of an Airbus A340 but weighs only as much as a mid-size car (1,600 kg).

(READ the story in Reuters)