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Solar Impulse Aircraft Finishes Around-The-World Trip To Promote Renewable Energy

First Posted: Jul 27, 2016 04:50 AM EDT
Solar Impulse takeoff from Dayton, Ohio
A selfie picture showing Swiss adventurer Bertrand Piccard onboard Solar Impulse 2 (Si2) during his flight from Dayton, Oklahoma to Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania, where he landed today, May 25 2016.
(Photo : Christophe Chammartin / SI2 via Getty Images)

Solar impulse aircraft is the world's first solar powered craft to have circumnavigated around the world. The Solar Impulse aircraft finished its world trip after descending in Abu Dhabi.

The Solar Impulse aircraft was piloted by Bertrand Piccard. He steered the aircraft from Cairo, Egypt to UAE for the last time. Piccard and co-pilot Andre Borschberg took turns navigating the Solar Impulse aircraft in different parts of the world. The solar powered aircraft's sole mission was to promote renewable energy.

After arriving in Abu Dhabi, Piccard told the crowd that the future is clean, the people, now and that they should take it further, NPR reported. The Solar Impulse aircraft started its journey back in March 9, 2015 and ended recently in Abu Dhabi as well.

The Solar Impulse aircraft had a 17 staged flight covering approximately 42,000 kilometers. The aircraft flew across four continents, three seas, and two oceans for the past year.

The longest flight that Solar Impulse aircraft made was from Nagoya, Japan to Hawaii, United States of America. The flight lasted almost 118 hours. During this long trip, Borschberg eventually broke a world record for the longest duration navigating solo uninterrupted.

Piccard and Borschberg worked tirelessly on the Solar Impulse aircraft for over a decade.

The pilot duo wanted to complete their challenge last year, but they were unable to get the best summer weather in the Northern Hemisphere. Furthermore, the Solar Impulse aircraft's battery was damaged during a 5 day voyage on the western Pacific during June to July 2015. The damage to Solar Impulse aircraft's batteries opted the pilots to end their adventure for 10 months.

The Solar Impulse aircraft is about the weight of a car and has a wingspan similar to that of the Boeing 747. The solar cells on the aircraft amounted to 17,000. Its cockpit is the same size as a public telephone box. This made the pilots wear oxygen masks connected to tanks so they could breathe at high altitudes and sleep for only 20 minutes each time.

The Solar Impulse aircraft made its journey from Abu Dhabi on March 9, 2016 passing Oman, India, Myanmar, China, Japan, U.S.A., Spain and Egypt, The Guardian reported. The world's first solar powered aircraft touched down Abu Dhabi on July 23.

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