Solar-powered aircraft, Solar Impulse 2, to land in Mandalay on 10 March

Solar Impulse 2, the second single-seater solar aircraft of Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg, is scheduled to land in Mandalay on 10 March as the fourth stopover of its first round-the-world solar flight.

The first around-the-world solar flight, Solar Impulse 2 (Si2), is expected to make a stopover in Mandalay, central Myanmar, on 10 March, according to a pre-arrival press conference on the flight held Tuesday.
The solar aircraft, an idea born in Switzerland, will make its fourth stopover at Mandalay International Airport after taking off from Abu Dhabi of the United Arab Emirates in early March, with three earlier stopovers at Muscat of Oman and Ahmedabad and Varanasi of India. Abu Dhabi will be the start and finish of the second zero-fuel aircraft’s international flight over fivemonths spanning 22,000 miles (35,000 km).
It is scheduled to stay for three days at Mandalay International Airport, officials said at the press conference. During the visit, around 1,000 students from surrounding universities will have the chance to  meet the pilots of the aircraft and learn about the plane and renewable energies. Myanmar is the only Southeast Asian stop among the planned landings in China, USA and southern Europe or Northern Africa.
On its way from Varanasi to Mandalay, the plane will fly over Bagan, one of the most wondrous sights in the world serving as home to religious edifices built from the 11th to 13th centuries, for taking aerial photographs by a helicopter.
While gliding at an altitude of around 1,500 feet over the ancient temple-studded plain of Myanmar’s Bagan, the Si2 will make a scene depicting the meeting between the past, the future and the present, said U Win Swe Tun, director-general of the Department of Civil Aviation.
The message of the project a perfect example of Switzerland’s philosophy driven by a vision and a passion for innovation, is to explore new ways of doing and thinking in order to achieve the impossible, said Swiss Ambassador to Myanmar Christopher Burgener.
“Change is possible, not only in technology but also in society and politics. One only has to be ready for a ground-breaking adventure”, the ambassador added.
According to the press conference, a team of technicians and scientists from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausannne (EPFL) worked together to design the solar-powered plan. The global partners Solvay, Omega, Schindler and ABB and local partner FMI made this cost-intensive project possible.
With the joint efforts of the government and Swiss Embassy, the first around-the-world solar flight to Myanmar is aimed at helping to inspire energy innovation in Myanmar.

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