Solar plane starts second leg of epic round…

NNA – Solar Impulse 2 took off from Oman Tuesday bound for India, on the second leg of its epic bid to become the first plane to fly around the world powered solely by the sun.The aircraft took off from Muscat at 6.35 am (0235 GMT) for what is expected to be a 16-hour, 1,465 kilometer (910 mile) journey over the Arabian Sea to Ahmedabad in India.Pilot Bertrand Piccard was at the controls, taking over from fellow Swiss aviator Andre Borschberg. “I will remember #Oman forever!” Piccard tweeted prior to take-off.More than two hours after leaving Muscat, Piccard was over the Arabian Sea, according to a website monitoring his progress.On Monday Borschberg had touched down in Muscat after the first leg of the journey, 13 hours and two minutes after leaving Abu Dhabi.”The adventure has started,” Solar Impulse chairman Piccard, 57, said just after Borschberg took off in the early morning from Abu Dhabi’s Al-Bateen airport, on a journey that the aviation industry ridiculed when it was first unveiled.Borschberg spoke of an “emotional” trip, telling reporters in Muscat he cruised at 6,000 meters (almost 20,000 feet) because the trip was “short”.Piccard is set to fly higher on the trip to Ahmedabad, Borschberg said.UN chief Ban Ki-moon hailed the venture and congratulated the pilots.”With their daring and determination, we can all fly into a new sustainable future,” his spokesman said.–AFP==============A.A.M

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