By Staff writer
Solar-powered plane touches down in Egypt with just one more leg remaining on round-the-world trip
Solar Impulse 2 (Si2), the solar-powered plane attempting to become the first aircraft in the world to circumnavigate the globe without using a drop of fossil fuel, is set to take its final flight back to Abu Dhabi.
The plane touched down in Egypt on Wednesday morning, with Cairo being its 16th and final stop before reaching Abu Dhabi, the city where Si2 began its record-breaking journey in March last year.
Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company, is the official host partner of Si2.
The futuristic aircraft left Spain for Egypt on July 11 after flying over the Gemasolar solar thermal power plant located 60-kilometres to the west of Seville.
Yousef Baselaib, senior adviser to the CEO of Masdar, was part of the Solar Impulse 2 welcoming committee in Cairo.
“Solar Impulse’s arrival in Egypt is further proof that clean energy is a viable technology in the realisation of a more sustainable future,” he said at a press conference with pilot André Borschberg, who completed his last flight at the controls of Solar Impulse 2 on the Seville-Cairo route.
Solar Impulse 2 began its epic journey from Abu Dhabi in March 2015, with stops including Oman, India, China and Japan. It completed the first half of its circumnavigation of the globe late last summer, after breaking multiple records on a 7,212km trans-Pacific flight from Japan to Hawaii.
This fantastic endeavour and now - achievement is just the beginning to what will be achieved in the realm of solar powered equipment in our future. The world has not been able to bring any sensible order to the fossil fuel extraction and use...though it will continue to power us (and produce our chemicals & plastics) for long into the future....now with Solar Impluse 2 we are seeing the 'beginning of the end' for those fuels because it is a finite resource.....and sunlight is with us to eternity. Hats off to the whole team involved in Solar Impulse 2, wear your heads high, you have earned the world's respect for your great efforts. God bless and God speed with more & bigger steps into the future. Larry Morrow, Naples, Florida