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Solar plane in round-the-world bid

Swiss pioneers will embark on the first round-the-world trip ever attempted with a solar-powered plane just after dawn tomorrow.

Solar Impulse founders and pilots Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg said in a statement today that they hope to encourage the replacement of "old polluting technologies with clean and efficient technologies".

The flight will begin and end in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates.

Solar Impulse was behind the first aircraft able to fly day and night without fuel, propelled solely by the sun's energy.

The Si2 aircraft that will be used in the journey is a single-seater made of carbon fibre.

It has 17,248 solar cells that supply the plane with renewable energy.

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