The Swiss solar-powered plane Solar Impulse 2 has successfully crossed the Atlantic Ocean after over 71 hours of non-stop flying from New York to Seville. The aircraft received a special welcome from the Spanish Air Force’s Patrulla Águila aerobatic team.
Piloted by Bertrand Piccard, the plane touched down in the Spanish city of Seville at 7:38am on Thursday completing the first ever solar and electric crossing without fuel or emissions over the Atlantic. The plane left New York on Monday morning, flying over 6,700 kilometres to reach Seville.
While descending into Seville, the plane was welcomed by an air display by the Spanish Air Force’s Patrulla Águila aerobatic team.
“This is the first time I participated in an air show with Solar Impulse,” said Piccard. “That’s wonderful.”
The aircraft had experienced some turbulence on the trans-Atlantic flight over the Azores islands in the north Atlantic Ocean.
The Atlantic crossing is the second-longest flight completed by the aircraft. The longest was the record-breaking five-day flight across the Pacific Ocean from Japan to Hawaii in July 2015, that time with pilot André Borschberg at the controls.
The plane will be grounded for the next three to four days for maintenance and is only likely to take off early next week, provided there is a suitable weather window.
After Seville, the Solar Impulse 2 will complete the last part of its journey to Abu Dhabi, which is where it started its round-the-world flight in March 2015. It is expected to take two to three legs to complete its final journey, with Greece and Egypt as possible pit stops.