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Solar-powered plane sets off on flight around the world

Solar Impulse 2 on the runwaySolar Impulse 2 on the runway A record-breaking attempt to fly around the world in a piloted fixed-wing aircraft using only solar power has got under way. The flight is being made by Swiss aeronaut Bertrand Piccard (who co-piloted the first balloon to circle the world non-stop) and fellow Swiss, André Borschberg. The aircraft, called Solar Impulse 2, took off from Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, at 07:12 local time, 9th March 2015, bound for Muscat in Oman, with André Borschberg at the controls.

Solar Impulse 2 in flightSolar Impulse 2 in flightBorschberg and Piccard will take turns piloting the single-seater plane for 35,000 kilometres (21,747 miles) over 12 legs. The entire journey will take five months. From Oman, Solar Impulse 2 will fly across the Arabian Sea to India, then on to Burma and China. They will then cross the Pacific Ocean and the United States. Finally, Solar Impulse 2 will fly over the Atlantic Ocean and then across either Europe or Northern Africa before landing at the same airport in Abu Dhabi that it started from.

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