Riyadh: 14 July 2016 (Saudi Press Agency) The Saudi Aviation Authority granted the Solar Impulse 2 plane to fly over Saudi Arabia for two days starting tomorrow Friday July 15, 2016 coming from Cairo and heading to its last destination Abu-Dhabi. The around-the-world voyage began in March 2015 in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, the longest solar trip in aviation history.
Captain Abdulhakeem Al-Badr, Assistant President of the authority for Security and Safety, said granting the Solar Impulse 2 an overflying license comes within the authority’s objectives encouraging innovation in the field of aviation.
The wings of Solar Impulse 2, which stretch wider than those of a Boeing 747, are equipped with 17,000 solar cells that power propellers and charge batteries. The plane runs on stored energy at night. Not a single drop of traditional plane fuel is used in Solar Impulse 2.
Ideal flight speed is about 45.06 kph (28 mph), although that can double during the day when the sun’s rays are strongest.
The solar project, which is estimated to cost more than $100 million, began in 2002 to highlight the importance of renewable energy and the spirit of innovation.