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Published on : Friday, July 15, 2016
Under the auspices of the Egyptian Tourism Authority and the Ministry of Aviation, a press conference was held yesterday morning to welcome Solar Impulse 2, the solar powered plane which has taken off from Seville on the penultimate leg of a round-the-world trip which reached Cairo at 7 AM.
The solar-powered airplane Solar Impulse 2, operated by pilot André Borscherg, took off from Seville, Spain, early Monday at 6:20 CET (7:20 AM Cairo time) for the 50 hour and 30 minute flight to Cairo. The Swiss-made, solar-powered plane travels at an average speed of 75 km/h and travels at a maximum altitude of 28,000 feet.
“This is Solar Impulse’s penultimate flight before reaching their long-awaited finish line,” said H.E. Egypt’s Minister of Tourism Mohamed Yehia Rashed. “We are honoured to welcome Solar Impulse 2 to Egypt, it is not every day that history is being made, but today we welcomed the first solar powered plane and we look forward to welcome our tourist aboard solar powered planes in the near future”.
The plane utilizes 17,248 solar cells that render fuel consumption unnecessary, weighs 2.3 tons and has a wingspan of 72 meters.
“Although this is our second to last flight, the challenges of finishing this round-the-world tour remain as true as always,” said Mr Borschberg, who is taking turns flying the aircraft with fellow Swiss pilot Bertrand Piccard, the second to last leg was a milestone in their round the world attempt.