Is there such a thing as a solar-powered commercial airplane?



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    Not yet. And they’re probably far off. That doesn’t mean solar-powered planes don’t exist. NASA has been testing solar planes since the 1980’s with its Pathfinder planes. These are ultralight airfoil-based propellor planes powered by photovoltaic cells and controlled remotely. However, Bertrand Piccard (not Captain Piccard) is working on the Solar Impulse project, to fly round the world in a solar-powered airplane. The project is expected to take off in 2012.

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