Historic Solar-powered plane ends flight

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iol scitech july 25 solar plane

Reuters
The Solar Impulse plane’s project co-founder and CEO Andre Borschberg (L) welcomes project president and pilot Bertrand Piccard (C) after a 19-hour flight from Madrid at Rabat’s International airport

Zurich – The Swiss sun-powered aircraft Solar Impulse landed back home in Switzerland late on Tuesday after completing the final leg of its historic transcontinental flight.

The high-tech aircraft was greeted by an enthusiastic crowd of supporters at Payerne airport in western Switzerland two months after it took off from there on May 24 on a journey that took it from Europe to North Africa and back.

“This was an extraordinary adventure, not only because of what was achieved with this plane… but also because of the solid team” Andre Borschberg, one of the co-founders of the project, said in a statement.

Earlier on Tuesday pilot Bertrand Piccard took the plane up into a cloudless sky from an airfield near Toulouse, southern France, where it had waited for a week for the right weather conditions to complete a journey which took it to Spain, Morocco and back again to Switzerland.

The high-tech aircraft, which has the wingspan of a large airliner but weighs no more than a saloon car, is fitted with 12,000 solar cells feeding four electric engines.


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