A solar-powered plane successfully completed its latest test flight in Abu Dhabi Monday, clearing the way for its planned round-the-world trip.
Solar Impulse Chairman Bertrand Piccard piloted Monday's test flight and was expected to man the fifth and final trial flight later that day. The plane will be the first to circle the globe run entirely on solar power if all goes to plan.
Weather permitting, the Solar Impulse 2 (Si2) will depart from Abu Dhabi's Al-Bateen airport on Saturday and return in July or August. The plane will travel between Oman, India, China, Myanmar, Hawaii and the continental US. Once across the Atlantic, Si2 will stop over in Southern Europe or North Africa before returning to the UAE.
Lithium batteries will help store energy from the plane's 17,000 solar cells, allowing the aircraft to fly at night.