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Swiss plane makes first ever solar-powered transcontinental flight

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Swiss plane makes first ever solar-powered transcontinental flight

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Solar Impulse, the plane completely powered by the sun, has completed its historic transcontinental flight.

The aircraft was greeted by a cheering crowd as it touched down at Payerne airport in western Switzerland.

Swiss pilot Bertrand Piccard flew the plane on its 6,000 kilometre journey from his home country to Spain and Morocco, then back to Switzerland two months later.

Solar Impulse – which has the same wing span as Boeing 777 – uses 12,000 solar cells to power four electrical motors.

The plane also made history two years ago when it became the first manned solar-powered aircraft to fly day and night.

Costing around 90 million euros, Solar Impulse has been a nine-year project.

Now the team has its eyes set on a round-the-world tour with an improved model in two years time.

The aim is to show the potential for pollution-free air travel.