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By Donald Lambro
Growth spikes are little more than trend-free anomalies
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - Bertrand Piccard
Alone in the single-seat cockpit and high above the American Southwest, pilot Bertrand Piccard could hear only his plane's gear box and the quiet whine of four electric motors. No noisy jet engines.
Morocco's ambitious and expensive plan to draw 40 percent of its energy needs from the limitless power of its blazing sun by 2020 received a publicity boost this week as the first solar powered plane to make an intercontinental flight landed in the North African kingdom.
An experimental solar-powered plane landed in Morocco's capital late Tuesday after a 20-hour trip from Madrid in the first transcontinental journey by a craft of its type.
An experimental solar-powered airplane took off from Switzerland on its first transcontinental flight Thursday, aiming to reach North Africa next week.
The Swiss team that built the world's most advanced solar-powered plane is planning to head to the Mediterranean next month.
After 24 hours of flight, Swiss pilot Andre Borschberg landed the Solar Impulse, a plane powered solely by energy from the Sun.
Despite the aviation advancements made over the last century, Mr. Piccard said he and Mr. Borschberg have a lot in common with the early pioneers.
"If an airplane can fly day or night with no fuel, just on the sun's power, of course it means that everybody in daily life can use this technology for his house, for heating and cooling systems, for lighting, for cars, for trucks. There's so much we can do now to have a cleaner future," Mr. Piccard said.