A solar-powered airplane on a round-the-world journey took off Thursday (19 March 2015) from the northern Indian town of Varanasi and was headed for its next stop in Myanmar, the Associated Press reported Thursday (19 March 2015).
Swiss pilots Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg are taking turns flying the aircraft as they attempt to circumnavigate the globe on the journey that was expected to take five months.
The fuel-free aircraft, called the Solar Impulse 2, is powered by more than 17,000 solar cells on its wings that recharge the plane’s batteries, enabling it to fly during the day or night. The single-seat Swiss-made plane was expected to land in Mandalay in Myanmar later Thursday.
The flight has attracted attention around the world from people who see solar power as the fuel of the future, providing a source of clean, renewable energy.
The plane’s journey began last week in Abu Dhabi, when Borschberg flew the first leg of the trip to Muscat, Oman.