Phoenix bound: Solar Impulse 2 begins 10th leg of round-the-world flight

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Solar Impulse 2 has taken off on the tenth leg of its round-the-world journey

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A little over a week after pilot Bertrand Piccard touched down at Moffett Airfield in Mountain View, California, Solar Impulse 2 has taken off again. This time the aircraft has André Borschberg in command and will head toward Phoenix Goodyear in Arizona.

Borschberg is of course the pilot who took solar-powered flyer from Japan to Hawaii last year on the eighth leg of the round-the-world journey. That trip took almost 118 hours and covered 4,480 miles (7,209 km), setting new records but also sustaining catastrophic battery damage that was to keep it on the ground until April 21, when it took to the air and headed for Silicon Valley.

The single-pilot aircraft took off today from runway 32L at Moffett Airfield at 5:03 am local time on the tenth leg of its round-the-world voyage, which began in Abu Dhabi in the Persian Gulf in March 2015.

"We are now continuing the adventure across the United States, with the ambition to show everyone along the way, that if an airplane can fly day and night without fuel, we could all use these same clean technologies on the ground to develop new industrial markets and stimulate economic growth, while also protecting the environment," said Bertrand Piccard.

The flight is estimated to take around 16 hours, adding 720 miles (1,157 km) to the clock. Phoenix is something of a revisit for Solar Impulse 2, having made a stop there during its Across-America marathon in 2013. After a brief stay in Arizona, the next stop will be New York.

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