Solar Impulse has landed in Cairo, marking the end of the penultimate leg of its historic flight around the world. Swiss pilot André Borschberg was at the controls for the last time as the solar powered aircraft completed the flight from Seville, Spain, in 48 hours and 50 minutes.
The 4,000-kilometre journey, which took the aircraft over the Mediterranean, Algeria, Tunisia, Malta, Italy and Greece without using a drop of fuel, ended at 07.10 CET. “This was an emotional and meaningful leg for me, being able to enjoy once more the incredible sensation of flying day and night thanks only to the energy of the sun and enjoying fully the present moment,” said Borschberg, who is co-founder and CEO of the project.
Betrand Piccard, who originally initiated the environmental project, will later take the controls for the last leg to Abu Dhabi.
“This landing in Cairo brings Solar Impulse back to the origin of my dream. Egypt is the country where I landed after my non-stop round the world balloon flight in 1999, and it’s precisely here that I had the idea of an airplane flying around the world on solar power,” he said.
The round the world solar flight started in the United Arab Emirate in March 2015. Solar Impulse will take off to complete the circle when weather conditions are optimal.