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Tue 10 Mar 2015 04:17 PM

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Solar Impulse 2 leaves Muscat en route to India

Solar-powered aircraft takes off on second leg of epic 35,000km journey around the world

Solar Impulse 2 leaves Muscat en route to India
In this hand out image supplied by Jean Revillard, Solar Impulse 2, a solar-powered airplane, lands with pilot Andre Boschberg at the helm to finish the first day of an historic round-the-world journey that began in Abu Dhabi, UAE, on March 09, 2015 in Muscat, Oman. (Getty Images)

A solar-powered aircraft took off on Tuesday from Muscat, Oman, bound for India for the second leg in a historic round-the-world trip.

Pilot Bertrand Piccard was at the controls of the single-seater Solar Impulse 2, which is making the 1,465km journey from Muscat to Ahmedabad without a drop of fuel.

It will take an estimated 16 hours of flying as it crosses over the Arabian Sea to India - its first sea crossing.

On Monday, André Borschberg, who co-founded the Solar Impulse company that built the plane, flew the Si2 from Abu Dhabi to Oman in the first leg of the five-month 35,000km journey.

The plane is only as heavy a family car (2,300 kg, 5,100 pounds) and but has a wingspan as wide as the largest passenger airliner. Its journey will span approximately 25 flight days broken up into 12 legs at speeds between 50 and 100 km (30 to 60 miles) per hour.

Studies, design and construction took 12 years and a first version of the craft rolled out in 2009 broke records for heights and distances travelled by a manned solar plane.

The flight will make stopovers in India, Myanmar and China before crossing the Pacific Ocean and flying across the United States and southern Europe to arrive back in Abu Dhabi.

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TAHA M AHMAD 5 years ago

Wishing the team best of luck!