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PHOTO CAPTION: Bertrand Piccard with 4-engined Solar Impulse

Around the World On Solar Wings

Solar-powered airplane will take 20-25 days to circle the globe starting in Abu Dhabi.

Published: 22-Jan-2010

DHABI — Bertrand Piccard is no conventional environmental activist -- he hopes to raise awareness about the potential of renewable energy by flying a solar-powered aircraft around the world.

"What we want to do is to fly day and night to show that, with renewable energies, you can have unlimited duration of flight, no restriction," Piccard told AFP at the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi, where he had a booth to promote his venture.

The 51-year-old Swiss psychiatrist plans to fly his one-of-kind "Solar Impulse" around the world over 20 to 25 days, traveling at an average of 70 kilometres (43 miles) an hour.

He will split the flying time with Andre Borschberg, a former Swiss fighter pilot.

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