Solar plane completes first-ever Atlantic flight

Seville—The Solar Impulse 2 landed in Spain today morning after completing a 70-hour flight from New York in the first solo transatlantic crossing in a solar-powered airplane.
Applause broke out as the experimental plane set down at Seville airport in southern Spain just before 7:40 am where a team was on the ground to welcome Swiss pilot and adventurer Bertrand Piccard, an AFP correspondent said. “It is so fantastic!” Piccard told the plane’s mission control centre in Monaco in remarks broadcast live on the Internet as the plane, which took off from New York on Monday, touched down.
“@bertrandpiccard lands in #Seville completing, in 70h, the 1st #Atlantic solar flight #futureisclean,” the support team’s official Twitter account said.
“A dream is coming true,” the team had tweeted as the plane slowly approached its final destination early today after flying 6,272 kilometres (3,900 miles) across the Atlantic. Solar Impulse, which has just completed the 15th leg of its around-the-world trip, set out on March 9, 2015 in Abu Dhabi, and has flown across Asia and the Pacific to the United States with the sun as its only source of power.
“Good morning Seville! Do you have a lot of direct flights from NYC?” Piccard tweeted with a wink shortly before landing.
Prince Albert of Monaco, a patron of the project who had spent the entire night at the control centre, congratulated Piccard on the journey: “Bravo, it was magnificent to see!” he said from the tiny state on the French Riviera.
“I arrived in the middle of an air show, it was absolutely extraordinary, that kept me awake!” Piccard told him in response, describing the acrobatic display put on by the Spanish air force as he came in to land.—Agencies

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