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Solar Impulse-2 aircraft lands in Varanasi

Source: PTI
March 19, 2015 01:45 IST
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The world's only 'zero-fuel' aircraft 'Solar Impulse-2' on Wednesday landed in Varanasi for an overnight stopover after its pilot held the Ahmedababd 'administration' responsible for the delay in departure from the city for want of customs and immigration clearance.

Swiss pilot Bertrand Piccard, who had flown the airplane from Muscat to Ahmedabad, did not get clearance from the Immigration department.

His co-pilot Andre Borschberg on Wednesday flew the world's first solar-powered aircraft from Ahmedabad to Varanasi.

The plane touched down at the LalBahadurShastriInternationalAirport at Babatpur shortly after 8:30 PM, completing an over 13 hour-long journey from Ahmedabad, where the plane and the crew had a week's stopover, an official said in Varanasi.

"The plane took off from Ahmedabad after a delay of two hours from its scheduled time," the official said.

It was slated to hover above river Ganga to spread the message of cleanliness and clean energy, but it was skipped due to the delay.

Airport Director S K Malik and other senior officials gave a warm welcome to Borschberg.

The SI-2 is scheduled to fly to Mandalay in Myanmar from Varanasai on Thursday morning, Chongqing and Nanjing in China and thereafter to the US.

Image: German test pilot Markus Scherdel (C) poses with Solar Impulse co-founders Andre Borschberg (R) and Bertrand Piccard after taking the solar-powered Solar Impulse 2 aircraft on its maiden flight. Photograph: Laurent Gillieron/Reuters

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