Swiss Solar Plane Marks 24 Hours in the Air

PAYERNE, Switzerland -- The Swiss team behind an experimental solar-powered plane says it has remained aloft for a record 24 hours.

Engineers in the Solar Impulse control room and pilot Andre Borschberg cheered loudly as the plane passed the historic milestone shortly before 7 a.m. Thursday.

The team is now preparing to land the 207-foot wingspan aircraft at Payerne airfield about 31 miles southwest of the Swiss capital Bern.

The prototype plane is studded with 12,000 solar cells that managed to store enough energy during the day to last through the night.

The team's ultimate goal is to fly an improved version of the aircraft around the world in five stages in 2013.