Sep 25, 2014 5:57 AM

Global solar flight to start, end in Abu Dhabi

The Associated Press

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) A government-backed renewable energy company in the United Arab Emirates says a Swiss-made solar-powered aircraft will aim to begin and end its first round-the-world solar flight from the federation's oil-rich capital of Abu Dhabi.

Clean-energy company Masdar said Thursday that the Solar Impulse 2 plane will attempt its historic journey in March from the OPEC member country. Project founders Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg hope to complete the journey over four or five months, including stopovers.

The Solar Impulse 2 is powered by some 17,200 solar cells arrayed on wings that span 72 meters (236 feet). It is a larger version of a single-seat prototype that first flew five years ago. The founders say the plane in theory can stay airborne indefinitely.


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