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Solar-powered Swiss Plane Attempts Flight Around World



A Swiss solar-powered plane has taken off from Abu Dhabi, marking the start of the first attempt to fly around the world without a drop of fuel.
The Solar Impulse 2, piloted by Andre Borschberg of Switzerland, took off at 7:12am local time (0412 GMT) on Monday from the UAE’s Al-Bateen airport and headed to Muscat, the capital of Oman, where it is expected to land later after the first leg of the journey.
The developers say the aim is to create awareness about replacing “old polluting technologies with clean and efficient technologies”.
Andre Borschberg, Solar Impulse co-founder, was at the controls of the single-seater when it took off from the Al Bateen airport in the United Arab Emirates on Monday morning.
The take-off, which was originally scheduled for Saturday but delayed due to high winds, capped 13 years of research and testing by Borschberg and fellow Swiss pilot Bertrand Piccard.
They will take turns to fly the plane around the world and switch seats during stopovers.
Two hours and 15 minutes into the flight, Borschberg was 13 percent of the way to Muscat and attempting to give media interviews before calling his wife, according to a website monitoring his progress.

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