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Monday, June 17, 2024

Solar plane completes sixth leg of a round-the-world journey

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Solar Impulse 2 plane on Tuesday evening touched down safely in Nanjing Airport, to complete the sixth leg of a round-the-world journey promoting renewable energy.

Swiss pilot Bertrand Piccard landed the zero-fuel airplane in the eastern Chinese city about 200 kilometres from the coast after an approximate 17-hour, 1,190-kilometer flight.

Piccard said the ultra-light, ultra-efficient craft took off before dawn on Tuesday, after a three-week stop-over in the south-western city of Chongqing.

He said this was the longest delay since the plane left Abu Dhabi earlier in March.

Piccard said the crew had been due to make a brief stop and quickly travel on to Nanjing, but were held up by weather and safety concerns.

“The team had to find a weather slot,” he said.

The pilot said the team would stop in Nanjing for 10 days, checking over the aircraft and running through a training programme ahead of the first Pacific leg.

Powered by more than 17,000 solar cells installed on its wings, Solar Impulse 2 was scheduled to make 12 stops, a total flight time of about 25 days spread over five months.

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