Solar Plane Completes Flight Over Atlantic, Landing in Spain

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Solar Impulse 2 pilots Bertrand Piccard (R) and Andre Borschberg at Sevilla airport on June 23, 2016.

Photographer: Cristina Quicler/AFP via Getty Images
  • Bertrand Piccard touches down in Seville after 71-hour flight
  • Pilots need to reach Abu Dhabi to finish round-the-world trip

A solar plane completed a flight over the Atlantic Ocean, landing in Seville, about 4,300 miles (7,000 kilometers) from completing a goal to travel around the world in a multi-stage journey.

Swiss pilot Bertrand Piccard touched down at 7:38 a.m. local time after flying three days and nights, the Solar Impulse project said in a statement Thursday. The plane had started in New York. Before landing, the ultralight vehicle was welcomed by Spanish air force planes that flew nearby.

The Solar Impulse project is getting closer to completing a world tour in an ultralight one-man aircraft intended to show how technology might provide solutions to combat global warming. Piccard has been taking turns at the controls with Andre Borschberg, a 63-year-old former Swiss air force pilot, as they circumnavigate the globe without using any fuel. 

“With this transatlantic flight our aim is to inspire the adoption of clean technologies everywhere,” Piccard said.

The plane next will fly toward Abu Dhabi, from where it began its journey in March last year.

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