Swiss-built solar-powered aircraft Solar Impulse has taken off on a night flight that could make aviation history.
The plane took off shortly before 7am on Wednesday from Payerne airbase in western Switzerland. The inaugural night flight, powered by solar energy, was supposed to have taken place last week but was postponed because of a technical problem.
During the day the plane should capture enough solar energy to keep it flying through the night.
The revolutionary new plane conceals a wealth of state-of-the-art technology and innovative design. Some 80 partners, including many Swiss companies, have helped conceive, build, test and fly the prototype.
The night flight is the latest stage in the solar adventure of Solar Impulse CEO André Borschberg, and co-founder Bertrand Piccard. Their next step in the coming weeks is a longer 36-hour non-stop flight to prove that perpetual solar flight is possible.
swissinfo.ch and agencies