Date
25 November 2017
Solar Impulse-2 takes off from Abu Dhabi airport to begin its round-the-world voyage. Photo: Reuters
Solar Impulse-2 takes off from Abu Dhabi airport to begin its round-the-world voyage. Photo: Reuters

Solar plane finishes 1st leg of round-the-world trip

A solar-powered plane has completed the first leg of an attempt to fly around the world.

Solar Impulse-2 took off from Abu Dhabi Monday, heading east, BBC News reported.

Andre Borschberg, a Swiss businessman, piloted the single-seat aircraft, which touched down at Muscat in Oman after a 12-hour flight.

Over the next five months, it will skip from continent to continent.

“And there we are… confirmation we’re down. Solar Impulse has touched the ground,” a flight controller said as the plane’s wheels touched the tarmac.

Borschberg will share the pilot duties in due course with countryman Bertrand Piccard.

The plan is stop off at various locations around the globe to rest and do maintenance, and also to spread a message about clean technologies.

The plane has a wingspan of 72 meters, wider than a 747 jumbo jet’s, and weighs only 2.3 tonnes.

It is powered by 17,000 solar cells that line the top of its wings, as well as lithium-ion batteries for flying at night.

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RC/FL

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