Solar Impulse 2's 'Beautiful Flight' Across The Atlantic Is Major Milestone : The Two-Way After 71 hours and 8 minutes of flight time crossing the Atlantic, Solar Impulse 2 touched down in Spain. It's a big step toward the goal of circumnavigating the globe using only the sun's power.
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'Beautiful Flight' Across The Atlantic Is Major Milestone For Solar Plane

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'Beautiful Flight' Across The Atlantic Is Major Milestone For Solar Plane

'Beautiful Flight' Across The Atlantic Is Major Milestone For Solar Plane

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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Now let's take a break from politics and big judicial decisions to talk about a pilot's unprecedented flight across the Atlantic.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: He made it. Charles A. Lindbergh landed at Le Bourget Airport in Paris.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

No, wrong tape.

CORNISH: No, no. Not the right one.

SHAPIRO: Sorry, not that transatlantic flight. We're talking about Bertrand Piccard.

CORNISH: He's one of the pilots of the Solar Impulse 2, which is trying to make it all the way around the world using solar power.

SHAPIRO: If it succeeds, this would be the first flight around the world in a plane powered only by the sun.

CORNISH: The long trip has been split up into lots of separate flights. The transatlantic part of the trip was the 15th leg - one of the longest flights - and risky because it meant three days and nights over an ocean with no fuel.

SHAPIRO: Piccard set off from New York on Monday and landed successfully in southern Spain this morning.

BERTRAND PICCARD: Good morning, Sevilla.

(APPLAUSE)

SHAPIRO: He was handed a bottle of champagne and spoke to a crowd gathered on the tarmac.

PICCARD: The Atlantic has always been the symbol of going from the old world to the new world. And everybody has tried to cross the Atlantic with sailboats, steamboats, balloons. Today, it's a solar-powered airplane for the first time ever, flying electric with no fuel and no pollution.

CORNISH: Piccard seemed pretty fresh, considering he had just spent 71 hours in flight. Lindbergh's trip was a zippy 33 hours.

SHAPIRO: Piccard spent the hours tweeting a lot. He gave interviews and made calls.

CORNISH: Don't forget selfies with a selfie stick poking out of the plane.

SHAPIRO: The goal is to make it back to Abu Dhabi, where they started in March of last year.

CORNISH: With this latest flight, they're 90 percent there.

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