Solar Impulse heads for final layover in Egypt

Image: Solar Impulse takeoff

The Solar Impulse 2 airplane takes off from Seville, Spain. (Credit: Solar Impulse)techn

Sixteen months after it started, the fuel-free Solar Impulse 2 airplane took off before dawn Monday for what’s expected to be the second-last leg of its round-the-world journey, heading from Spain to Egypt for a pyramid photo op and a Cairo landing.

Solar Impulse co-founder Andre Borschberg was at the controls in the solar-powered plane’s solo cockpit for what could be his last time during the globe-girdling odyssey.

“The unknown is always there,” he said before takeoff. “So I’m crossing my fingers before crossing the Mediterranean Sea.”

The ultra-lightweight plane rose up from Seville International Airport at 6:22 a.m. local time (9:22 p.m. PT Sunday). The Solar Impulse team said Borschberg’s trip is scheduled to take about 50 hours. He’s on track to cross through the airspace of seven countries during the flight.

Get the full story on GeekWire.

About Alan Boyle

Award-winning science writer, creator of Cosmic Log, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.
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