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Solar Impulse 2 lands in Oklahoma after 18 hour flight

Staff writer |
Swiss long-range solar-powered plane has landed in Tulsa, in the south-central US state of Oklahoma, ending the latest stage of its record-breaking quest to circle the globe without fuel.

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Solar Impulse 2 touched down at Tulsa International Airport at 23:15pm local time, with its gigantic solar wings and LEDs glowing in the night light.

Swiss psychiatrist and aeronaut Bertrand Piccard was at the controls during the 18 hours and 10 minutes-long flight from the Goodyear Airport in Phoenix, Arizona, to Tulsa.

Our goal is to get to New York as quickly as possible in order to allow us enough time to find a good weather window to cross the Atlantic Ocean, the Solar Impulse 2 team said in a statement.

"Next flight will depend on the different constraints we always face but so far we don't expect a departure before beginning of next week at the earliest due to weather in Tulsa," it added.

Aimed at turning a milestone in aviation exploration, the first round-the-world solar flight took off from Al Bateen Executive Airport in Abu Dhabi on March 9 last year. It was part of the Future Is Clean campaign initiated by Bertrand Piccard and Swiss businessman André Borschberg to promote the use of renewable energy and clean technologies.

The plane will make one or two more stops before landing in New York.

Borschberg will next take the controls once the plane has arrived there. He plans to re-start from New York by June for an Atlantic crossing to either southern Europe or Morocco, and finally back to Abu Dhabi.

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