Solar plane on course to complete Atlantic crossing

London, June 23 (IANS) The world’s largest solar-powered aircraft, Solar Impulse 2, has entered Spanish airspace with the aim of landing in Seville to complete its Atlantic crossing, BBC reported on Thursday.

Pilot Bertrand Piccard will bring the craft down on Thursday morning if air traffic controllers give the all-clear.

The Swiss adventurer has made swift progress over the ocean since leaving New York on Monday.

The current flight is the 15th stage in Solar Impulse’s bid to circumnavigate the globe.

Once in Seville, mission managers will plot a route to Abu Dhabi where the venture began in March, 2015.

Solar Impulse has moved rapidly around the Earth since renewing its challenge in Hawaii on April 21.

In 2015, the plane flew eight stages from Abu Dhabi to Kalaeloa, including a remarkable four-day, 21-hour leg over the western Pacific – the longest solo flight in aviation history in terms of the time it took.

But it was damage to its batteries on that stage that forced Solar Impulse to then lay up for 10 months, for repairs and to wait for optimum daylight length in the northern hemisphere to return.

Piccard shares the flying duties with his business partner, Andre Borschberg.

The former Swiss air force pilot will take charge for the next leg, across the Mediterranean.



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