What’s On details successful take-off of record-breaking solar-powered, Solar Impulse 2, from Abu Dhabi. The landmark journey aims at promoting green energy.

Solar-powered flight announcement
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And we have lift off! The record-breaking attempt to circumnavigate the globe using a solar powered plane has taken off from Abu Dhabi today.

Departing at 7.15am from the Abu Dhabi Al Bateen Executive Airport, the Solar Impulse 2 (Si2) is currently on its way to Muscat, Oman.

The take-off had previously been delayed earlier this month due to poor weather conditions.

Solar Impulse over Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

The single-seater aircraft is made up of carbon fiber and only weights 2,300kg, the approximate weight of a average sized car. The plane boasts an unusually large 72-metre wingspan, (that’s larger than a Boeing 747-81) which holds 17,000 solar cells in its wings. The solar cells will charge lithium batteries in the craft, to ensure the plane can also fly in the night.

Check out Solar Impulse TV live:

Swiss pilot Andre Borschberg is operating the plane during the first leg of the journey, which is expected to take ten hours. He is joined on the journey by Bertrand Piccard, who is expected to take the wheel upon the return flight into the capital in late July. Both pilots will take turns flying the plane on various legs of the route.

Solar Impulse

The flight around the world is expected to return to the capital in July this year. The route includes stops in Muscat, Oman; Ahmedabad and Varanasi, India; Mandalay, Myanmar; and Chongqing and Nanjing, China. After crossing the Pacific Ocean via Hawaii, Si2 will fly across the United States, stopping in Phoenix, the Midwest, and New York City at JFK. After crossing the Atlantic Ocean, the final legs include a stop-over in Southern Europe or North Africa before returning to the capital.

To get updates and follow the live feed of the flight, visit the Si2’s official website: solarimpulse.com