Solar Impulse 2 Completes First Leg Of Round-The-World Flight
A record-breaking attempt to fly around the world in a solar-powered plane has completed its first leg.
The aircraft touched down in Muscat after nightfall, 13 hours and two minutes after taking off from Abu Dhabi.
The flight should take around five months to complete, and the 21,748-mile journey has been divided into 12 manageable trips.
Pilot Andre Borschberg was at the controls on the 400-kilometre (215 nautical mile) trip.
“The adventure has started,” Solar Impulse chairman Bertrand Piccard had said just after Borschberg took off in the early morning from Abu Dhabi’s Al-Bateen airport on the historic journey aimed at promoting green energy.
Borschberg spoke of an “emotional” trip, telling reporters in Muscat he cruised at 6,000 metres (almost 20,000 feet) because the trip was “short”.
Piccard and Borschberg have been a part of the Solar Impluse team for years now (Piccard is the president of Solar Impulse, and Borschberg is the co-founder and CEO). Together, they hold eight world records for flight, including the first solar-powered flight across the US in the original Solar Impulse.
After taking off in Abu Dhabi, the Solar Impulse 2 will make stops in Oman, India, Myanmar, China, the US, and Southern Europe or Northern Africa before landing back in Abu Dhabi sometime in July.
Progress of the flight, including live video and updates on the location and altitude, can be obtained from the Solar Impulse site (when it’s not buckling under the load of global interest).
Source: The Verge