Solar Impulse touches down in Spain, completing the 70-hour Atlantic leg of its historic bid to circle the globe. Bertrand  Piccard spoke to a crowd of well-wishers at Seville’s airport after stepping out of Solar Impulse’s cockpit.

“The Atlantic has always been this symbol of going from the Old World to the New,” he told them.

“Everybody has tried to cross the Atlantic, with sailboats, steamboats, airships, aeroplanes, even rowing boats and kitesurfs. Today, it’s a solar-powered aeroplane for the first time ever, flying electric with no fuel and no pollution.”

Solar Impulse has moved rapidly around the Earth since renewing its challenge in Hawaii on 21 April.

In 2015, the plane flew eight stages from Abu Dhabi to Kalaeloa, including a remarkable four-day, 21-hour leg over the western Pacific – the longest solo flight in aviation history in terms of the time it took.

Pilot Bertrand Piccard made swift progress over the ocean after leaving New York on Monday.

Mission managers will now plot a route to Abu Dhabi where the venture began in March, 2015. Read more…