First global solar plane flight to stop in India, Myanmar, U.S.

(CNN) — The quest to complete the first solar-powered flight around the world moved a bit closer to reality Tuesday.

Swiss pilots Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg announced the Solar Impulse 2 aircraft will depart the United Arab Emirates on their historic adventure in late February or early March, making a total of 12 planned stops.

The route includes landings in Myanmar; China; India; Phoenix, Arizona; and New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport. At speeds between 50 and 100 kilometers per hour (31-62 mph) Piccard and Borschberg aim to circle the globe flying about 25 days over a total of about five months.

An earlier version of the plane was the first solar-powered aircraft to fly at night, thanks to advanced solar cells that charge light-weight lithium batteries. The batteries are able to store enough energy to allow the plane to fly long distances at night. Developers say Solar…

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