We've tracked this solar-powered tub from its announcement
last year, through its first runway tests
, past the little hop that counted as its first flight
, and now we've arrived at the HB-SIA's first legitimate test flight. The Solar Impulse, brainchild of one Bertrand Piccard, took the upward plunge into the skies yesterday, successfully rising to 5,500 feet and a speed of 30 knots before gliding down gently and calling the whole thing an unqualified success. You can find video of the event after the break. A nighttime test flight is planned for later this year, after which a bulkier production model will be cobbled together with the intent of reaching the final goal of circumnavigating the globe by 2012.