One Of The Greatest Round The World Trips Ever Is Coming To An End In Abu Dhabi This Week
Solar Impulse 2, a spindly single-seat plane powered by solar energy, has left Egypt today (1.28am local time) for Abu Dhabi.
On the last leg of the first ever fuel-free flight around the globe, the plane is expected to land at Al Bateen Executive Airport in Abu Dhabi. The journey is expected to take between 48 and 72 hours depending on weather conditions.
The plane began its journey in Abu Dhabi in March last year
Swiss aviators Andre Borschberg and Bertrand Piccard have taken turns in piloting the place as part of a campaign to build support for clean energy technologies.
Ahead of its takeoff, Bertrand Piccard said:
"The round the world flight ends in Abu Dhabi, but not the project. It’s very emotional to take off from Egypt with Si2, given that I landed here in 1999 after accomplishing the first non-stop round the world balloon flight.
What you need to know about the plane
The plane's four engines are powered solely by energy collected from more than 17,000 solar cells in its wings (read: zero fuel). Solar energy is collected during the day and stored in batteries for electrical energy to fly at night. It can climb to about 28,000 feet and cruise at 34-62 mph.