Solar-Powered Plane Begins Historic Around-The-World Flight

CBS San Francisco

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (CBS SF) — With its wings stretched wide to catch the sun’s energy, a Swiss-made solar-powered aircraft took off from Abu Dhabi just after daybreak Monday in a historic first attempt to fly around the world without a drop of fossil fuel.

Solar Impulse founder André Borschberg was at the controls of the single-seat aircraft when it lumbered into the air at the Al Bateen Executive Airport. Borschberg will trade off piloting with Solar Impulse co-founder Bertrand Piccard during layovers on a 35,000-kilometer (21,700-mile) journey.

Some legs of the trip, such as over the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, will mean five days and five nights of flying solo. Both pilots have been training hard for this journey, which will span 25 flight days over five months before this Spruce Goose of renewable energy returns to Abu Dhabi in late July or August.

“It is also…

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