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Billionaire Ex-Oilman Plans 1st Nonstop World Solar Flight

  • Russian seeks place in record books with trailblazing project
  • Businesses, spies among those interested in such technologies
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After building up a $15 billion fortune pumping oil, Viktor Vekselberg is turning to solar for his attempt to win a place in history.

The Russian tycoon and his Renova Group plan a record-breaking effort to send a plane around the world nonstop using only the power of the sun. If all goes well, a single pilot will fly for five days straight at altitudes of up to 10 miles, about a third higher than commercial airliners.