Round-the-world solar plane headed for China

The Solar Impulse (Si2), the solar-powered aircraft on a mission to fly around the globe without a drop of fuel, left Mandalay in Myanmar for China on Sunday on the fifth leg of its journey. The aircraft, piloted by the Swiss project chairman Bertrand Piccard, left Mandalay at 3.36 a.m. on Sunday, and is heading for Chongqing in China, according to a BBC report. Leg five of the aircraft will be a long one - about 1,375 km - and is expected to take roughly 19 hours. It will see the Si2 landing around midnight at the Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport. The plan of the project team is to make a brief stop in Chongqing, and then try to reach Nanjing on the east coast of China. This would set up the Si2 for the first of its big ocean crossings - a five-day, five-night flight to Hawaii. Capable of flying over oceans for several days and nights in a row, the single-seater Si2, which started its journey from Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on March 9, will travel 35,000 km around the world in 25 days. No solar-powered plane has ever flown around the world.