World’s first solar aircraft to land in Gujarat today

Solar Impulse, claimed to be the world’s only solar-powered aircraft, will make a stopover in Ahmedabad on Tuesday as a part of its maiden global journey — without a drop of fuel.

The plane took off from Abu Dhabi early on Monday and its first stop was Muscat.

After landing in Ahmedabad, the solar aircraft’s founders and pilots Bertrand Piccard and AndrBorschberg are likely to stay in the city for two days before leaving for Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh.

Piccard and Borschberg, during their stay, will reach out to the government, NGOs, universities and schools to spread the message of clean technologies. The aircraft is also likely to hover above the Ganga in Varanasi to spread the message, an official associated with the project said.

The aircraft has a 72-metre wingspan, larger than that of Boeing-747, and weighs just 2,300 kg, equivalent to the weight of a car. The flight will also halt at Mandalay in Myanmar and Chongqing and Nanjing in China. After crossing the Pacific Ocean via Hawaii, the aircraft will fly across the U.S., stopping at Phoenix, the Midwest and New York City. — PTI & AP

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