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Solar Impulse Lands In Spain After ‘Toughest’ Atlantic Crossing

Founder Andre Borschberg and fellow pilot Bertand Piccard are at the controls for each segment of what they hope will be the first round the world flight powered by the sun.

As of 9:30 p.m.in NY (0700 IST Tuesday), the plane was near Canada’s Nova Scotia and turning east to begin its ocean crossing after hugging the North American coast during the day.

Bertrand Piccard, initiator and chairman of Solar Impulse, now in the cockpit of Solar Impulse 2 flying over the Atlantic Ocean without a drop of fuel, together with André Borschberg, co-founder and CEO, supervising the flight from the mission control centre in Monaco, announced the intention to create the International Committee of Clean Technologies (ICCT).

NEW YORK (AP) — A solar-powered airplane has begun its trans-Atlantic flight on the latest leg of its globe-circling voyage.

After taking off from NY on Monday morning, the solar-powered Solar Impulse 2 aircraft piloted by Bertrand Piccard is nearing Seville in Spain.

“Awake and enjoying the Atlantic even after 51 hours of flight”. The propeller-driven plane has four solar-powered engines, together with four batteries to store surplus energy.

During his crossing, he has seen whales in the waters below, a full Moon in the nighttime sky, oil tankers and icebergs.

Piccard, who is taking catnaps during the marathon flight, has sounded exhausted but exhilarated by the challenge. “Check it out!” Piccard wrote on the online blog he and fellow pilot Andre Borschberg have been keeping.

No heavier than a vehicle but with the wingspan of a Boeing 747, Solar Impulse is being flown on its 35,400-kilometre trip round the world in stages, with Piccard and his Swiss compatriot Andre Borschberg taking turns at the controls of the single-seat plane.

The plane, now on the 15th leg of its circumnavigation, set out on March 9 previous year from Abu Dhabi, and has flown across Asia and the Pacific to the United States with the Sun as its only source of power. Stops were made in Oman, Myanmar, China and Japan.

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Solar Impulse 2 travels at 48 kilometers per hour (30 mph) although its flight speed can double when exposed to full sunlight.

Bertrand Piccard left,and André Borschberg after touchdown in Seville. The crossing was a beautful dream Dr Piccard said