The team that’s attempting to make the first solar-powered flight around the world completed another milestone Sunday, when its craft landed at Moffett Airfield in California’s San Francisco Bay area. Having taken off from Hawaii, this was the ninth leg of the trip and represented the team’s first return to the air since last July, after weather and repairs to its plane led to a delay in the project.
At the helm of the Solar Impulse 2 on this leg was Swiss adventurer Bertrand Piccard. The solo pilot had taken off from Kalaeloa, Hawaii, shortly after dawn on Thursday, April 21, completing a journey of 2,200 nautical miles (4,000 kilometers).
The experimental craft gets all its energy needs from the 17,000 solar panels lining its top, meaning it requires no other fuel. The cells power propellers and charge up batteries that are used for flying during the night. (Learn more about the project.)
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