WATCH: Solar plane completes successful flight

WATCH ABOVE: Solar Impulse 2 takes to the sky.

TORONTO – Solar Impulse 2, a solar-powered aircraft, had a successful inaugural flight on Monday over Payerne, Switzerland.

The aircraft, created by Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg, was flown by a test pilot for two hours and 17 minutes.

READ MORE: New version of solar plane set for round-the-world flight in 2015

“This inaugural flight is an important stage — a step closer towards the round-the-world flight,” said André Borschberg, Solar Impulse Co-founder, CEO and pilot, in a press release. “It is also a huge emotional step for the entire team and all our partners who have worked on the aircraft.”

Solar Impulse | Revillard |

The plane has been updated following an earlier prototype that took to the sky about five years ago.

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Solar Impulse 2 is designed to fly without fuel or polluting emissions, and can fly day or night.

The plane is a single-seater made of carbon fibre. It has a 72-metre wingspan which is longer than that of the 747-8I. It weighs 2,300 kg — no more than a large car. It is powered by 17,000 solar cells built into the wing which provide energy to four electric motors.

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