World's First Round-The-World Solar-Powered Flight Takes Off From Abu Dhabi
After being presented to the public six weeks ago, the pilots of the Solar Impulse 2 have been playing the waiting game. The revolutionary aircraft, the first solar-powered plane attempting to fly entirely around the world, has been undergoing numerous tests from it's base in Abu Dhabi, waiting for the weather to be just right before being launched out into the big bad world.
And on Monday the wait was finally over. The Solar Impulse 2 took off bright and early in the morning on it's first leg from Abu Dhabi, heading east to Muscat, the capital of Oman. Over the next five months, it will skip from continent to continent, covering over 35,000km, crossing both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans in the process. Pilots Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg will alternate in the single seater cockpit. The aircraft is quite a sight to behold, with a longer wingspan than an Airbus A380 (236ft), covered with 17,248 solar cells that power it's four 17.4-horsepower electric motors. It is expected to land back in Abu Dhabi sometime in August.