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Solar Impulse 2 completes successful first flight

Solar powered aircraft passes first test ahead of round the world bid.

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The flight deck of the Solar Impulse 2
The flight deck of the Solar Impulse 2

Solar Impulse 2 has completed its maiden test flight ahead of a bid next year to become the first solar powered aircraft to fly round the world.

Test pilot Markus Scherdal landed the single-seater at the Payerne aerodrome in Switzerland after a trouble-free two hours and 17 minutes.

Initial results showed the performance during the test was in line with expectations, a statement said.

See images of the plane HERE.

“This inaugural flight is an important stage - a step closer towards the round-the-world flight," said Andre Borschberg, Solar Impulse co-founder, CEO and pilot. .

"It is also a huge emotional step for the entire team and all our partners who have worked on the aircraft."

Owners Andre Borschberg and Bertrand Picard plan to carry out the round the world mission in stages after lifting off from the GCC in March 2015.

Solar Impulse 2 is an upgraded version of the model used to carry out the first Trans American flight last year.

Several more test flights are scheduled in coming months before the experimental aircraft attains certification.

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