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Solar Impulse 2 sets off for final leg of round-the-world trip

Solar Impulse 2, a solar powered plane piloted by Swiss aviator Andre Borschberg, is seen as it prepares to land at Cairo Airport, Egypt July 13, 2016. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh
Solar Impulse 2, a solar powered plane piloted by Swiss aviator Andre Borschberg, is seen as it prepares to land at Cairo Airport, Egypt July 13, 2016. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

Washington: Solar-powered airplane, Solar Impulse 2, took off from Cairo early Sunday for its final leg of global tour.

It is for the first time in history that an aircraft of its kind has achieved a round-the-world flight using no fuel.

The plane is en-route to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, where its epic journey originated over a year ago, reports the CNN.

It’s piloted by Bertrand Piccard, one of two pilots who have alternated on the journey’s 17 legs around the globe.

By the time he touches down in the Emirates, he and pilot Andre Borschberg will have traveled a total of 35,000 km (21,748 miles).

The lightweight aircraft, which only weighs as much as an SUV but has the wingspan of a Boeing 747, runs on solar energy.

The plane had earlier secured a place in the record books by being the first plane to cross the Atlantic from New York’s JFK airport to Seville in Spain.

It also set the record for the longest solo flight, five days and five nights, without fuel from Nagoya in Japan to Hawaii.

The Solar Impulse 2 project is the brainchild of Piccard and Borschberg, a Swiss engineer and businessman. The aircraft is a single-seater and so the two men have shared the flying by taking different legs of the journey. (ANI)

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