Solar plane leaves Seville on penultimate leg of round-the-world flight


The single-seated Solar Impulse 2 airplane, powered exclusively by the sun, has taken off from Seville on a flight to Cairo on the last stages of its round-the-world journey.

Last month, Swiss aviator Bertrand Piccard was in the cockpit to take the Solar Impulse 2 on one of the most hazardous parts of its worldwide sojourn - a 71-hour flight over the Atlantic Ocean from NY.

Solar Impulse is being flown on its 35,400-kilometre (22,000-mile) trip around the world in stages, with Borschberg and his Swiss compatriot Bertrand Piccard taking turns at the controls of the single-seat plane.

The odyssey this time will take the solar-powered plane over a number of airspaces, including Tunisia, Algeria, Malta, Italy, Greece and finally Egypt. Of course I'm happy that we get close to the end.

A plane powered entirely by the sun has set off from Seville on the last leg of its journey around the world. "Still very prudent, knowing that it is not done yet so I have to stay really focused and I guess it's the same for the team".

The flight, Borschberg's last in the huge aircraft, should take 50 hours and 30 minutes.

The Solar Impulse 2 is back in the air.

Borschberg was in the cockpit for the Pacific Ocean crossing, from Nagoya, Japan to Hawaii, which took 118 hours.

The wings of Solar Impulse 2, which stretch wider than those of a Boeing 747, are equipped with 17,000 solar cells that power propellers and charge batteries. It took off from the United Arab Emirates capital on March 9, 2015 with the aim of promoting clean, renewable energy.