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Abu Dhabi-backed Solar Impulse 2 completes Atlantic flight

Abu Dhabi-backed Solar Impulse 2 completes Atlantic flight

Experimental solar-powered plane lands in Seville after a 70-hour journey from New York

Abu Dhabi-backed Solar Impulse 2 (Si2) landed in Spain early on Thursday morning, completing the first ever crossing of the Atlantic by a solar-powered airplane.

The 70-hour transatlantic journey carried out by the zero-fuel plane marks a historic achievement.

“Bertrandpiccard lands in #Seville completing, in 70h, the 1st #Atlantic solar flight,” Solar Impulse tweeted at 9.41am UAE time.

The pilot Bertrand Piccard tweeted “After a long night of turbulence and little sleep, I see the first light of the day and I believe the #futureisclean”

Despite the lack of sleep and turbulence experienced during the 70-hour journey, Piccard persisted through the challenging leg over the Atlantic, finishing the trip from New York’s John F. Kennedy airport.

The project had initially hoped to end the Atlantic leg in Paris, to echo the pioneering flight in 1927 of Charles Lindbergh.

However, due to a predicted storm forecasted this week for Paris, Seville was chosen as the safest option.

This round-the-world trip, which set out from Abu Dhabi’s Al Bateen Airport on March 9, 2015, marks the transatlantic journey as its second historic moment.

Also read: Solar Impulse 2 Begins Round-The-World Flight From Abu Dhabi

Last summer, Piccard’s partner and co-pilot Andre Borschberg set a record for the longest uninterrupted journey in aviation history in a 6,437-kilometer flight between Japan and Hawaii. This flight lasted 118 hours.

Si2 is covered in 17,000 solar cells with the wingspan of a Boeing 747. It is said to be no heavier than a car.

Having completed its final 15th leg of the journey, the plane is now expected to complete the 35,400-kilometer world trip in Abu Dhabi in early July.

 

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