Ahmedabad: World's first solar-powered plane Solar Impulse 2 has taken off from Ahmedabad Wednesday morning at 7:15 am.
The plane is expected to land at Varanasi at 9pm on Wednesday.
On its journey to Varanasi, the pilot Andre Borschberg will fly the zero-fuel airplane on about 1071km for an estimated time of 15 hours.
— André Borschberg (@andreborschberg) March 18, 2015
Varanasi is the third of the twelve destinations the flight is likely to cover during its world tour. The zero-fuel aircraft will have an 8-hour pit-stop in the city.
S K Malik, Director of Varanasi Airport was quoted as saying: "The plane took off today after a delay of two hours from its scheduled time from Ahmedabad. We are expecting it to reach at around 9 PM here, which is close to its earlier arrival schedule".
The plane will first hover over the Ganga to spread the message of cleanliness and clean energy and subsequently land at the airport, he said.
The district authorities had given the permission, which was sought in advance by the 'Solar Impulse-2' (SI-2) team, to the aircraft for carrying out aerial videography of the Ganga ghats(banks).
"The permission for carrying out aerial videography of Ganga river along the ghats here has been granted to the SI-2," Additional District Magistrate Vindhyavasani Rai said.
"We are all prepared to give a warm welcome to Andre Borschberg, the project's?co-founder and pilot, along with its co-pilot as well as project President Bertrand Piccard at the airport here," said Malik.
Si2 had taken off for its maiden round-the -world journey on March 8 from Abu Dhabi, its host city and after a brief pit stop in Muscat, landed in Ahmedabad on the night of March 10.
From Varanasi, the SI-2 is scheduled to fly to Mandalay in Myanmar, Chongqing and Nanjing in China and thereafter to the USA.
(With Agency inputs)