After crossing America and recently the Atlantic Ocean, the solar-powered Solar Impulse 2 – the solar airplane of Swiss pioneers Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg – took off from Spain early on July 11 to attempt a crossing of the Mediterranean Sea. The flight, that is expected to last two days and two nights depending on weather conditions, is the second to last leg of the attempt to achieve the first ever round-the-world solar-powered.
Two and a half weeks after Bertrand Piccard’s historic crossing of the Atlantic Ocean from New York, André Borschberg took off at the controls of Si2 from the Seville Airport, Spain, on July 11 at 6:20 am local time (UTC+2) and is expected to land at the Cairo International Airport, Egypt, on July 13 at 9:00 am local time (UTC+2) after a flight of approximately 2,200 miles/3,600 km – a journey across the Mediterranean Sea, from west to east, during which Si2 will fly in the airspaces of Spain, Algeria, Tunisia, Malta, Greece and finally Egypt. This is the largest number of airspaces ever overflown in one go with Si2.
After landing in Cairo, Si2 will be ideally positioned to attempt the last leg of adventure and reach Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates where the adventure started in March 2015. Together with their team and partners, Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg are attempting the first round-the-world solar flight with no fuel to show that the world can be run on clean technologies.
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The teams are still working on the design but the aircraft is expected to have a wingspan of about 3 feet and will be made of double ply, carbon fiber.