Swiss businessman and pilot André Borschberg, along with colleague and compatriot Bertrand Piccard, completed an epic quest this week — flying around the world in an aircraft powered only by the sun.
Their journey started 16 months earlier, in March 2015. Their plane, Solar Impulse 2, took off from Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates and, as the pilots took it in turns to fly the single-seated giant, made its way across India and China.
From Japan, Mr. Borschberg then piloted the plane across the Pacific on a trip that lasted more than four days, the longest uninterrupted flight on record.
But when it landed in Hawaii, the plane was grounded for nine months because of a defective battery. With the project on the verge of failure, repairs were finally made and the epic journey continued across the United States and then on to Europe, North Africa and back to Abu Dhabi.