Solar Impulse 2 sets off for penultimate flight to end round-the-world trip

Solar Impulse 2 took off from Seville in Spain en route to Cairo this morning for what is expected to be pilot Andre Borschberg’s final flight as part of the first solar-powered circumnavigation of the Earth. Taking off at 8am, the flight path will take the Swiss pilot across the Mediterranean, crossing more international airspaces […]

Solar Impulse 2 took off from Seville in Spain en route to Cairo this morning for what is expected to be pilot Andre Borschberg’s final flight as part of the first solar-powered circumnavigation of the Earth.

Taking off at 8am, the flight path will take the Swiss pilot across the Mediterranean, crossing more international airspaces then any other leg of the trip, including Tunisia, Algeria, Malta, Italy, Greece, and finally landing in Egypt.

During the flight, the plane was photographed flying over the Masdar-owned Gemasolar Thermosolar Plant in Seville. Masdar is sponsor.

“An oil-producing country and they created Masdar to diversify their economy and discover renewable energy that is amazing, this is why we choose Abu Dhabi as our host country,” said Bertrand Piccard, Solar Impulse’s second pilot and co-founder.

Covering 4,000km, the flight is expected to take 50 hours, depending on weather, before landing in Cairo, where Mr Piccard said he came up with the idea for Solar Impulse 17 years ago.

“Touch wood, don’t tempt fate, I hate to say too early that things go too well, because when Andre took off from Nagoya we drank the champagne too early. It’s emotional because it is his last flight and I hope it will go well,” Mr Piccard said.

The flight to Cairo should be the penultimate leg before the solar-powered plane returns to Abu Dhabi where it began its round-the-world journey in early in 2015.

nalwasmi@thenational.ae

Source: uae news

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