This week’s record-breaking night flight by the Solar Impulse aircraft has been widely acclaimed, but few of us are ever likely to fly in such a plane.

Swiss adventurer Bertrand Piccard, the initiator of the project, pilot André Borschberg, and the host of designers and developers who made the flight possible may have entered the history books, but what does their achievement mean in practical terms?

“I hope that in two years time at the next Green

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