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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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VIDEO: The Promise and Peril of Drones

CummingsDrones

The automation of tasks at work and at home is just around the corner, including driving cars, piloting planes, delivering packages, and transporting weapons. Unmanned aerial vehicles are rapidly evolving to meet both society’s and the military’s needs in automation and better efficiency.
During her time as one of the first female fighter pilots in the US Navy, Dr. Missy Cummings observed that computers could take off and land a plane more precisely than humans. Because of this breakthrough and her fascination with this growing technology, she began human–drone interaction research.

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