NEWS

Solar Impulse Plane Begins Attempt To Fly Around The World

03/09/2015 09:38 EDT | Updated 03/10/2015 03:59 EDT

A potentially record-breaking flight is now underway, as solar-powered plane Solar Impulse-2 departed from Abu Dhabi this morning with the goal of flying around the world without using a single drop of fuel.

Solar Impulse founder Andre Borschberg is the main pilot of the plane; appropriately, co-founder Bertrand Piccard [insert "Star Trek" remarks here] is second-in-command on the journey.

This isn't a short trip -- over the next five months, Solar Impulse will travel 35,000 kilometres from continent to continent, crossing both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.

Borschberg told BBC News: "I am confident we have a very special aeroplane, and it will have to be to get us across the big oceans. We may have to fly for five days and five nights to do that, and it will be a challenge. But we have the next two months, as we fly the legs to China, to train and prepare ourselves."

At each pit stop, the co-founders plan on spreading their message about humanity adopting alternative, cleaner tech. Their aim is to create awareness about replacing "old polluting technologies with clean and efficient technologies."

The Solar Impulse-2 aircraft, propelled solely by the sun, is a single-seater made of carbon fibre, and has jsut over 17,000 solar cells that feed the plane with renewable energy.

Bon voyage and good luck, gentlemen!

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