Swiss pair launch effort to pilot solar-powered plane around globe 0

Solar Impulse 2

Solar Impulse 2A solar-powered aircraft attempting a historic around-the-world journey completed its first leg Monday, landing in darkness in Oman after a flight of more than 13 hours from Abu Dhabi.

The Swiss-made, single-seat plane — as light as a minivan but with the wingspan of a jumbo jet — left Abu Dhabi’s Al Bateen Executive Airport just as the sun was rising. It touched down in Oman’s capital, Muscat — more than 300 miles by air over desert and mountains — with its wings dotted by rows of lights.

“Confirmation: We’re down!” said the commentator on the mission’s official Web site. Applause broke out in the control room in Monaco.

The plane is to leave early Tuesday on its next leg, across the Arabian Sea to Ahmedabad, India.


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