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Round the world on solar power

The Solar Impulse 2 is set to be the first round the world solar powered flight. Its route has now been unveiled. (SRF/swissinfo.ch)

The mission of the Solar Impulse 2 is clear: fly around the world without using a drop of kerosene. It will be the first circumnavigation of the world in a solar airplane. The project is technically demanding as the plane has to be able fly for up to five days and nights non-stop. 

The journey is divided in 12 stages, with Abu Dhabi the start and end point. The plane will be stopping among other places in Oman, India, Myanmar and China. It will then cross the Pacific Ocean, stopping in Hawaii. It will make three stops in the United States with the last one being JFK airport in New York. It will then fly over the Atlantic Ocean, going back to Abu Dhabi, through either the south of Europe or northern Africa.

Solar Impulse 2 is the successor of Solar Impulse 1, which flew across US and was able to store enough battery power to fly overnight. 

The plane will be flown at turns by the two Swiss pilots Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg, Solar Impulse’s co-founders.

The trip is set to begin at the end of February or early March and will conclude in Abu Dhabi by late July or early August 2015.