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Giant Solar Plane Completes Spain-Morocco Flight
from BBC News Online
A solar-powered plane has landed in Morocco after flying from Spain, completing the second leg of its pioneering journey. Pilot Bertrand Piccard landed the Solar Impulse in Rabat--19 hours after taking off from Madrid.
The plane--the size of a jumbo jet--was powered by 12,000 solar cells turning four electrical motors. The 2,500km-trip (1,550 miles), begun in Switzerland in May, is described as a rehearsal for a world tour in 2014.
Made of carbon fibre, the plane is the size of an Airbus A340 but only weighs as much as an average family car, according to its creators.
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Extreme events, such as super floods and hurricanes, are becoming more common, so civil engineers are trying to adapt civil infrastructure such as bridges to these unpredictable and sometimes devastating meteorological events. Engineer Ana Barros discusses how engineering can prepare us for extreme weather events, but also how changing climate and population conditions can affect the ability of infrastructure to hold up over time.
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