Swiss solar plane to visit Ahmedabad, Varanasi

Swiss solar plane to visit Ahmedabad, Varanasi

An aircraft that can fly for hours in the day and night without any aviation fuel will touch down next April at Ahmedabad and Varanasi – the two Indian cities, closely associated with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Named Solar Impulse, the Swiss technological marvel is probably the world’s first successful plane that runs completely on solar power.

Its arrival was demonstrated to the world in 2010 when Solar Impulse flew for 26 hours including nine hours of night flying. There were more flights in Europe and the USA in the last two years to demonstrate the technology.

Buoyed by the success, the team now plans a 12,000-km, around-the-world flight crossing three oceans relying solely on the powers of the Sun. And India would be the first pit stop.

As per the plans, the big bird will take off from Abu Dhabi in the first week of March, 2015, fly over the Indian Ocean and land in Ahmedabad where it would stay for a few days before flying out to Varanasi.

While the Switzerland government is in the process of obtaining the requisite permissions from the Director General of Civil Aviation and the Airports Authority of India, efforts are on to ensure Prime Minister Modi’s presence in one of the sites, when the plane lands.

Subsequently, it will fly to Myanmar and China before crossing the Pacific in a five-day-and-five-night flight to enter the USA. After a few days of rest, the plane will again undertake another 120 hours of flight for crossing the Atlantic to enter either North Africa or Southern Europe. The team intends to return to Abu Dhabi by July, completing the circumnavigation.

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