‘I’m back in Europe’: Solar Impulse touches down in Spain to complete transatlantic crossing

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Solar Impulse 2 landed in Spain on Thursday morning, completing what is believed to be the first crossing of the Atlantic by an aircraft without fuel.

The historic flight brings the sun-powered plane one step closer to Abu Dhabi, where it set off in March 2015 to circumnavigate the world without the use of fossil fuels – something that has never been done before.

Solar Impulse 2 began the transatlantic cross in New York on Monday morning, completing the flight in a little over 71 hours, just under three full days of flying for pilot Bertrand Piccard.

“The end of the crossing of the #Atlantic is a very important moment” tweeted fellow Solar Impulse 2 pilot André Borschberg, who himself made a historic crossing of the Pacific Ocean last year.

BREAKING @bertrandpiccard lands in #Seville completing, in 70h, the 1st #Atlantic solar flight #futureisclean pic.twitter.com/z8o96ynFDa

Conditions at Seville Airport were described as “perfect” by a Solar Impulse 2 official, setting up a picturesque scene for the solar-powered plane, which landed as the sun just began rising over the Spanish city.

Aircraft secure, the end of 3days over the #Atlantic for @bertrandpiccard, a dream is becoming true #futureisclean pic.twitter.com/OthuXtCdOc

Prior to landing, Piccard was welcomed to Spain with a flyover by the Spanish aerobatic team, Patrulla Águila, which translates to ‘Eagle Patrol’, which painted the sky with the colours of the Spanish flag.

“It’s the first time I have taken in an airshow from Solar Impulse,” said Mr Piccard from the cockpit.

“It’s so fantastic,” Mr Piccard said from the cockpit as the plane sat on the tarmac. “I’m back in Europe.”