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Cargolux lifts Solar Impulse

February 22 - Luxembourg based all cargo carrier, Cargolux, has transported the solar-powered aircraft Solar Impulse between Switzerland and the USA.

Solar Impulse was loaded on board a B747 freighter at the Swiss military airfield of Payerne.
Payerne airfield's short runway and lack of parking area for a large freighter aircraft made operating a B747F into the gateway a challenge. In order to successfully complete the project, the Cargolux aircraft ran with a limited amount of fuel to minimise the landing and take-off weight. The B747F parked on the Payerne runway during the loading process.
The Solar Impulse has a wingspan of 63.4 m and was loaded onto the B747F via its front nose cargo door. The project was executed quickly - the Cargolux freighter was loaded and turned-around in just over 5 hours.
The freighter landed in Luxembourg to take on fuel before heading on to the NASA Ames Research Center at Moffett Airfield, San Francisco, USA.
From Moffett, the Solar Impulse will begin its 'Across America' mission - a coast-to-coast flight from San Francisco to Washington DC and New York City. The solar powered aircraft has already achieved five world records - including the record for the longest day and night solar powered flight set at 26 hours, 10 minuets and 19 seconds.

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