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Solar-power airplanes take off by 2014

Some analysts have said that we are about to enter a golden age of solar technology, as the cost of solar electricity and installations becomes increasingly competitive with established fuel sources. But will we ever use solar power to fly? A team comprised of engineers and adventurers wants to build the first plane to circumnavigate the world solely on solar power.

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A tall order, to be sure, but solar-powered transportation has been gaining ground in recent years as solar cells become more efficient and batteries are engineered store more energy in less space. A solar-powered boat is currently sailing the world, and by 2014 the Solar Impulse team hopes to launch a plane that can fly by day or night solely on solar power.

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