We first heard about Bertrand Piccard and his plan to fly around the world in the solar-powered SolarImpulse in 2005. Now it's time for an update. After raising $60 million, the swiss adventurer is only $30 million short of his goal, and currently looking for partners. (Got the funds? Drop him a line.) Piccard plans to make his first trial run in early 2009, slightly later than scheduled. The trip around the world is scheduled for 2011. SolarImpulse will be able to fly both day and night--with no fuel or emissions. Structurally, it has one enormous wingspan, slightly wider than the new Airbus A380, the world's largest passenger plane.
Piccard also recently announced the backing of the International Air Transport Association, or IATA, which represents about 240 airlines. Perhaps now you buy carbon offsets when you travel, but green planes are closer than you think: The IATA plans to obtain the technology to fly with zero carbon emissions within the next 50 years. ::Associated Press via ::YahooNews. More on solar planes ::Solar Powered Plane Might Fly Continuously For Weeks ::World's First AA Battery Powered Plane Gets Airborne : More on carbon offsets ::Get Real With Travel Offsets: By "Walking On Water" ::How to Green Your Carbon Offsets ::To Offset or Not Offset