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Solar Impulse Has Successfully Started Its Round-the-World Trip

Illustration for article titled Solar Impulse Has Successfully Started Its Round-the-World Trip

After years of planning, the solar-powered airplane Solar Impulse 2 has successfully started its round the world trip. If everything goes to plan, it will become the first aircraft to fly around the globe without a single drop of fuel.

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The image above shows Solar Impulse 2 having just taken off from Al Bateen Executive Airport in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates this morning. The image below shows the view from the ground as it first took flight.

With 17,000 solar panels on the airplane's wing to charge a 2,077-pound lithium battery, it can cruise at rather slow 88mph. That means that the entire trip will take take around five months. Hardly adrenaline-fuelled—but at least it's off to a successful start.

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Illustration for article titled Solar Impulse Has Successfully Started Its Round-the-World Trip

Images by Solar Impulse/AP

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DISCUSSION

Dont forget to mention that this 5 month adventure actually "only" means 500 hours of flight divided between 2 pilot in 12 segments, not a continous flight :)