Geek Alert: French Accents and Solar Planes

This solar plane makes its first international flight today, and there's live video!

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If you're a tech geek, a French language enthusiast, or just an avid traveler with a keen interest in the survival of airplanes through peak oil, there's a great video stream for your to be watching this morning. Today a Swiss solar-powered plane, the "Solar Impulse HB-SIA single-seater prototype," according to the AP, is making its first international flight. Over at the Solar Impulse page, the intrepid team is streaming the entire thing, switching between ground control folks and the pilot. The plane took off at 6:40 GMT from Switzerland, apparently, and "is expected to reach Brussels by nightfall," so get it while you can. We're not sure why this is quite so much fun to listen in on and watch. Maybe it's the jumble of French and English, the total informality as they ask the pilot if he's ready to take an interview from the BBC. Maybe it's the clear enthusiasm and total geek-out of the site, which has a Google map with coordinates, the video, a Twitter feed, and the supposedly real-time altitude, heading, and ground speed (doesn't seem to be working right now). Maybe it's just that solar-powered planes are cool. In any event, head over. Heck, it's Friday morning, folks.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.