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First Solar-Powered Plane Completes Historic Round-The-World Trip

Jul 28, 2016 07:55 AM EDT

The iconic Solar Impulse 2 successfully landed into history.

On Tuesday, the world's first solar-powered aircraft has completed its around the world trip.

The plane, powered by only renewable energy, wrapped up its 17-stage journey after landing at the Al Bateen Executive Airport in Abu Dhabi from the Egyptian capital Cairo. It took the plance 48 hours and 37 minutes.

"The future is clean. The future is you. The future is now. Let's take it further," said Bertrand Piccard, who manned the Swiss-engineered aircraft for its finale stage, as he arrived in Abu Dhabi.

The quest which began its expedition on March 9, 2015, covered some 42,000 kilometers, taking in four continents, three seas and two oceans, BBC reported.

Swiss aircraft project Solar Impulse is a dynasty project plotted to promote the use of energy efficient solutions and to show the world that clean technologies can achieve impossible goals. It is geared towards scientific development while upholding protection of the environment.

Solar Impulse 2 is the brainchild of Piccard and Bertrand Borschberg, a Swiss engineer and businessman. Solar aviation began in the 1970s but it wasn't until the next decade that human flights took off.

The Solar Impulse is a single-seater aircraft so the two men have shared the flying by taking different legs of the journey. <CNNdescribes the plane as a lightweight aircraft that weighs the same as an SUV, but has the wingspan of a Boeing 747. The wings carry more than 17,000 solar cells.

During the trip, there were a total of 19 official aviation records set. Among those are the record-breaking solo flight of 5 days and 5 nights without fuel from Nagoya to Hawaii, courtesy of Borschberg, and being the first plane to cross the Atlantic without a single drop of fuel, manned by Piccard.

In an interview with The Guardian, Piccard said the world should celebrate the milestone not only because it is the first the history of aviation, but also because it is a first in the history of energy.

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