First global solar flight completes leg to Oman

Round-the-world solar-powered plane set off from Abu Dhabi on Monday

Tags: AviationEnergy efficiencyEnvironmentOmanUnited Arab Emirates
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First global solar flight completes leg to Oman Flight controller: "And there we are... confirmation we're down. Solar Impulse has touched the ground". (Getty Images)
By  Helen Gaskell Published  March 10, 2015

A record-breaking attempt to fly around the world in a solar-powered plane has completed its first leg, the BBC reported.

Solar Impulse 2 took off from Abu Dhabi on Monday and touched down in Oman at 16:14 GMT after a 12-hour flight.

Over the next five months, it will skip from continent to continent, crossing both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.

"And there we are... confirmation we're down. Solar Impulse has touched the ground," a flight controller said as the plane's wheels touched the tarmac.

"Solar Impulse wants to mobilise public enthusiasm in favour of technologies that will allow decreased dependence on fossil fuels, and induce positive emotions about renewable energies," said the mission's official website, which maps out the plane's location and broadcasts audio from the cockpit in real time.

According to ITP.net's sister website Arabian Business, the plane is only as heavy a family car (2,300 kg, 5,100 pounds) and but has a wingspan as wide as the largest passenger airliner. Its journey will span approximately 25 flight days broken up into 12 legs at speeds between 50 and 100 km (30 to 60 miles) per hour.

Before taking off, pilot Andre Borschberg told BBC News: "I am confident we have a very special aeroplane, and it will have to be to get us across the big oceans.

"We may have to fly for five days and five nights to do that, and it will be a challenge. But we have the next two months, as we fly the legs to China, to train and prepare ourselves."

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