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The world's first solar-powered aircraft will fly day and night and make 12 stops, including two in India, during its round-the-world flight to demonstrate the promise of clean energy, pilots of the aircraft have said. Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg, the Swiss co-founders and pilots of Solar Impulse 2 (Si2), along with their partners, disclosed the global flight route at a function here yesterday. "With our attempt to complete the first solar powered round-the-world flight, we want to demonstrate that clean technology and renewable energy can achieve the impossible," said Piccard, initiator and chairman of Solar Impulse. The first solar-powered plane able to fly day and night will land in 12 locations across the world and travel 35,000 kilometres in the first attempt to fly around the globe without using a drop of fuel, UAE's WAM news agency reported. The pilots will take off from Abu Dhabi in February-end or early March and return by late July or early August 2015 in their journey that would take them to Ahmedabad and Varanasi in India. Besides the two stops in India, the route includes stops in Muscat (Oman), Mandalay (Myanmar), Chongqing and Nanjing (China). After crossing the Pacific Ocean via Hawaii, Si2 will fly across the US. A third stop-over location in the Mid-West will be decided depending on weather conditions. After crossing the Atlantic, the final legs include a stop in Southern Europe or North Africa before arriving back in Abu Dhabi. The first round-the-world solar adventure will take approximately 25 flight days, spread over five months and covering approximately 35,000 kilometres at speeds of between 50 and 100 kmh. "We want youth, leaders, organisations and policymakers to understand that what Solar Impulse can achieve in the air, everyone can accomplish here on the ground in their everyday lives. Renewable energy can become an integral part of our lives, and together, we can help save our planet's natural resources," Piccard said. "Solar Impulse is not the first solar airplane, however it is the first able to cross oceans and continents, remaining in the air for several days and nights in a row without landing," said Borschberg, Solar Impulse co-founder and CEO.


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