26/07/2016 7:55 PM AEST

A Plane Has Flown Around The World Without Using A Drop Of Fuel

The flight of Solar Impulse 2 is a huge achievement for clean energy.

Handout . / Reuters
Solar Impulse 2, the solar powered plane, piloted by Swiss pioneer Andre Borschberg is seen during the flyover of the pyramids of Giza on July 13, 2016 prior to the landing in Cairo, Egypt in this photo released on July 13, 2016. Jean Revillard/SI2/Handout via Reuters/File Photo ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY.

Solar Impulse has completed the first round-the-world solar powered flight by landing at its final destination of Abu Dhabi.

The plane has flown a total of 42,000km using not a single drop of conventional fuel, instead relying on a huge bank of solar cells installed on the wings of the aircraft.

Pilot Betrand Piccard landed the plane safely after launching for the final leg from Cairo.

Handout . / Reuters

The flight contained a number of record-breaking achievements including the world’s longest uninterrupted solo flight by fellow pilot Andre Borschberg.

Mr Borschberg flew 8,924km from Nagoya in Japan to Hawaii, a flight which took an astonishing 118 hours.

In total 19 aviation records were set during the year-long flight.

Both Mr Piccard and Mr Borschberg have been taking it in turns to pilot the experimental aircraft.

What’s possibly even more astonishing is the plane itself.  

Denis Balibouse / Reuters

Solar Impulse 2 weighs no more than a conventional car, and yet it has a wingspan that surpasses even the Boeing 747.

Using 17,000 solar cells installed on the plane’s wings, four electric motors then turn huge 4-metre long propellors. This allows the plane to travel at an average speed of 70km/h.

Handout . / Reuters

Then there’s the cockpit. Around the size of a telephone box, the pilots had to wear oxygen tanks so they could breathe at high altitude while sleep was limited to just 20 minutes at a time.

The project took 13 years to achieve and the hope is that from this flight new technologies can be developed which better utilise solar power.

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