CAIRO, Jul. 13 (Aswat Masriya) – The
zero-fuel aircraft Solar Impulse 2 landed
in Cairo on Wednesday to finish the
penultimate flight of its tour around the
The aircraft took off from Seville in
southern Spain at 04:20 GMT on Monday
with pilot Andre Borschberg behind the
controls, and touched down in Egypt at
7:10am local time (5:10 GMT), taking
almost 49 hours to make the 3,745-km
(2,327-mile) trip.
The plane passed through Algerian,
Tunisian, Italian and Greek airspace as
well as over the Giza Pyramids before
landing at Cairo International Airport.
The trip to Cairo was the plane’s next to
last flight. Borschberg’s colleague and
co-pilot Bertrand Piccard will complete
the challenge by flying the plane back to
Abu Dhabi, where the aircraft began its
journey around the world on March 9,
Borschberg and Piccard took turns over
the entire tour. After landing in Cairo,
they met with Egypt’s minister of Civil
Aviation Sherif Fathy where they
discussed the potential of alternative
energy sources and new technologies.
The aircraft has a 72-meter wingspan
which is wider than that of a Boeing 747
and weighs 2.3 tonnes. It has more than
17,0000 solar cells built in to its wings
to harness the sun’s energy and has an
average speed of 70 kilometers per hour
at a maximum altitude of 28,000 feet.
The aircraft, which made a total of 17
stops, recorded the longest non-stop
solar-powered flight in terms of distance
and duration during its journey from
Japan to Hawaii as it landed after flying
for 8,924km in four days, 21 hours and
52 minutes.