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Swiss pilot in 3-day solar flight simulation

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Swiss pilot in 3-day solar flight simulation
Solar Impulse/Jacques-Henri Addor
13:43 CET+01:00

Swiss pilot André Borschberg will undergo a three-day simulated flight for a new Solar Impulse aircraft that can travel around the world powered only by solar energy, organizers said on Monday.

The test will allow the pilot and co-founder of the project to assess the configuration of the cockpit and simulate the effects on the human body of a flight of several days, said the Solar Impulse team in a statement.

The flight simulator will be at Dübendorf, in eastern Switzerland, and will run from Tuesday to Friday.

The second aircraft is under construction and will be larger than the first aircraft which completed a flight in Europe last summer.

It is designed to fly around the world in 2014, in five stages, piloted by Bertrand Piccard and Borschberg.

The first prototype of the plane, covered with photovoltaic cells and powered only by solar energy, made a series of European flights in mid 2011, and the plane was shown at the Brussels and Paris Air shows.

"We will continue building the new aircraft and expect to have a test flight in 2013," Solar Impulse press officer, Alexandra Gindroz, told AFP.

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