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Solar plane completes maiden intercontinental flight

Solar plane completes maiden intercontinental flight
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A solar-powered plane completed the first intercontinental flight by an aircraft of its type.

The Solar Impulse landed in Morocco’s capital Rabat late on Tuesday, after taking off from Madrid just agter at 5:00 CET that morning.

Swiss pilot Bertrand Piccard completed the journey in just over 19 hours with an average flying speed of 70 kilometres an hour.

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

Solar Impulse began nine years ago and has a budget of some 90 million euros.

The team says this latest flight proves the plane can stay in the air, both during the day and even at night.

Organisers are keen to do a round-the-world tour with an improved model in two years time.