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Solar Impulse completed round-the-world trip – 40’000km without fuel

Payerne, Switzerland: Today,Solar Impulse 2, the second single-seater solar aircraft of Bertrand Piccard and AndrÈ Borschberg designed to take up the challenge of the first round-the-world solar flight, without any fuel in 2015, carried out its sixteenth test flight out of the Payerne aerodrome in Switzerland. There will be several other test flights taking place in the coming months in order for this experimental machine to attain certification. They will be followed by training flights of Bertrand Piccard and AndrÈ Borschberg later in the season still from Payerne airfield. The attempt to make the first round-the-world solar-powered flight is scheduled to start in March 2015 from Abu Dhabi. Solar Impulse will fly, in order, over the Arabian Sea, India, Myanmar, China, the Pacific Ocean, the United States, the Atlantic Ocean and Southern Europe or Northern Africa before closing the loop by returning to the departure point. Landings will be made every few days to change pilots and organize public events for governments, schools and universities.

The first round-the-world solar powered flight has been completed, after the Solar Impulse aircraft touched down in Abu Dhabi and finished a journey that began over a year ago. The ABB-engineered plane is no heavier than a car, but has the wingspan of a Boeing 747. It’s powered by 17,248 solar cells, runs on battery power at night and has an average airspeed of 46 mph.