So­lar plane com­pletes epic trip

The Myanmar Times - - World -

SO­LAR Im­pulse 2 landed yes­ter­day in the UAE, com­plet­ing its epic jour­ney to be­come the first sun-pow­ered air­plane to cir­cle the globe with­out a drop of fuel to pro­mote re­new­able en­ergy.

The plane touched down at 4:05am in Abu Dhabi af­ter a morethan-48-hour-long flight from Cairo, the fi­nal leg in its jour­ney which be­gan on March 9 last year.

Cheers and clap­ping wel­comed the plane as it ar­rived at Al-Ba­teen Ex­ec­u­tive Air­port, where it first launched its world tour.

Swiss ex­plorer and pro­ject di­rec­tor Bertrand Pic­card was in the cock­pit dur­ing the 2763-kilo­me­tre (1717-mile) flight from Cairo, cross­ing the Red Sea, the vast Saudi des- ert and the Gulf.

The flight capped a re­mark­able 42,000km jour­ney across four con­ti­nents, two oceans and three seas.

“The fu­ture is clean, the fu­ture is you, the fu­ture is now, let’s take it fur­ther,” said Mr Pic­card.

“One thing I would like for you to re­mem­ber: More than an achieve­ment in the his­tory of avi­a­tion, So­lar Im­pulse has made an achieve­ment in [the] his­tory of en­ergy,” he said.

Hours be­fore land­ing, United Na­tions Sec­re­tary Gen­eral Ban Kimoon lav­ished praise on the team in a live-streamed con­ver­sa­tion.

“My deep­est ad­mi­ra­tion and re­spect for your courage,” he said.

Photo: AFP

Bertrand Pic­card (left) and An­dre Borschberg, pi­lots of the so­lar-pow­ered So­lar Im­pulse 2 air­craft, cel­e­brate at the Al-Ba­teen Air­port in Abu Dabi yes­ter­day.

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