A solar-powered airplane successfully landed in Chongqing early this morning in the fifth leg of its unprecedented round-the-world flight. The fuel-free Solar Impulse 2 touched down in the Chinese city at 1:35 a.m., organizers of the trip said in a statement, around 20 hours after it took off from Mandalay, Myanmar.
The Solar Impulse began its trip in Abu Dhabi on March 9 and has made four stops on its way to China. This is the first time a completely solar-powered plane has attempted to fly around the world, and already, the Solar Impulse has set two world records.
Swiss pilots Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg achieved the longest distance covered on a single trip in a fuel-free plane with the 1,468km stretch between Muscat, Oman and Ahmedabad, India.
The second record was for a groundspeed of 117 knots, recorded between Varanasi, India and Mandalay, Myanmar.
The plane was meant to stop briefly in Chongqing before flying to Nanjing, but weather conditions have delayed plans, according to the BBC. During the stopover, the pilots along with members from the Swiss embassy to China will visit a local middle school to promote clean energy in China.
The Solar Impulse, powered by more than 17,00 solar cells on its wings, will take off for Jiangsu province as soon as weather permits, and after that, it is due to make a five-day, five-night Pacific Ocean crossing to Hawaii.
[Images via China Daily]