Yerevan, 22.February.2019,
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Solar Impulse: Zero-fuel plane lands in Cairo

The Sun-powered aircraft Solar Impulse has finished its penultimate flight, landing in Egypt's capital, Cairo.

It took off from the Spanish city of Seville at 04:20 GMT on Monday, taking just over 48 hours to make the trip.

The zero-fuel aircraft is now in the home straight of its bid to circumnavigate the globe.

Its final stop is Abu Dhabi, where the challenge began in March 2015. The two pilots sharing flying duties will each take one more turn at the controls.

Andre Borschberg did the Seville-Cairo stage, flying over the pyramids and the Sphinx at Giza before landing.

"The final approach to Cairo was a bit tough but I made it," he tweeted.

Bertrand Piccard will complete the challenge by taking Solar Impulse back into the United Arab Emirates in the next few days, depending on the weather.

Towards the end of the flight, it was the first time the plane's battery levels had gone under 30%, mission managers said.

They organised to land in Egypt, where they were greeted by the country's ministers of aviation and energy, in the morning when the winds and temperatures were most favourable.

BBC science correspondent Jonathan Amos says they will now have to be particularly careful not to expose the solar cells on the plane to too much heat when it is stationary on the ground in Cairo.

 

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