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Si2 in Dayton


Solar Impulse in hometown of aviation pioneers


A Solar Impulse team member holding a model of the plane in which the Wright Brothers made their first flight (Solar Impulse)

A Solar Impulse team member holding a model of the plane in which the Wright Brothers made their first flight

(Solar Impulse)

An experimental airplane powered solely by energy from the sun has landed in Ohio on the latest stage of its historic bid by Swiss pilots and developers to fly around the globe without a drop of fuel.

The single-seat Solar Impulse 2 aircraft arrived in Dayton shortly before 10pm local time on Saturday, the project team said.

It took the aircraft, piloted by André Borschberg, 16 hours and 34 minutes to cover the more than 1,110km (692 miles) between Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Dayton, Ohio - hometown of two of America's most well-known aviation pioneers - Wilbur and Orville Wright.

The flight is part of the attempt to achieve the first-ever round-the-world solar flight to promote clean-energy technologies.

The Swiss team hopes to eventually complete its circumnavigation in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, the starting point for the journey in March 2015.

The two pilots, André Borschberg and Bertrand Piccard, take turns at the controls of the solar powered aircraft.

The project team says, weather permitting, Piccard will pilot the Solar Impulse 2 to the next stop-over and continue the crossing of the United States.

The plane is expected to make at least one more stop in the US, in New York, before crossing the Atlantic Ocean to Europe or northern Africa.

swissinfo.ch and agencies



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