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Solar-Powered Plane Makes It Across the Atlantic

Solar-Powered Plane Makes It Across the Atlantic

Its four-day trip started in NY on Monday.

Solar Impulse 2, the experimental solar plane that has been touted as a "flying microgrid" has crossed the Atlantic without a drop of fuel. Batteries overheated during the Pacific Ocean crossing, but subsequent flights to California, and across the United States, were free of reported technical issues.

"Good morning Seville! Do you have a lot of direct flights from NYC?" he tweeted shortly before landing, when he was treated to an acrobatic display by the Spanish air force.

The pilot described the flight as one of the longest legs of the first ever fuel-less flight around the world.

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Hasan Al Redaini, the UAE representative travelling with Solar Impulse, commented: "The last time I was in Europe was as part of the UAE delegation to COP21, which saw the world come together to adopt the historic Paris Climate Agreement".

For power-saving reasons, the Solar Impulse 2 cockpit can only carry a single human, and is both unheated and unpressurised. "The aircraft covered 4,203 miles on the power of the sun alone (stored for overnight use in 5,000 pounds of batteries)". "A year ago we showed that it could fly nearly perpetually, and now we confirmed it with the transatlantic flight, proving again that change is possible when we have the right mindset and are not afraid to push back our own limits", Borschberg said in a news release. It's incredibly environment-friendly and just proves that renewable technology is the future of energy consumption. To take the ambition a step further, Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg announced, on the third day of the transatlantic flight, the intention of creating the International Committee of Clean Technologies.

In fact, Borschberg deserves his very own set of medals for the flights he has undertaken, particularly the 6437km stretch between Japan and Hawaii, which became the longest non-stop journey in aviation history at 118 hours. Its final destination is its original starting point Abu Dhabi, and mission planners are now plotting a route, possibly via either Greece or Egypt.

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