5-speed listening (Level 3)

Solar-powered plane makes history



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A solar-powered plane has made history by flying from Japan to Hawaii, a journey of almost 6,500 kilometres. The plane is called Solar Impulse 2. Solar panels that cover the plane convert the sun's rays into power. Scientists hope that all airplanes in the future will fly using solar power. Solar Impulse 2 landed in Hawaii after a 118-hour flight across the Pacific Ocean. Swiss pilot Andre Borschberg tweeted about his feelings after arriving in Hawaii. He wrote: "Just landed in Hawaii with Solar Impulse….It's a dream coming true." The flight broke the record for the longest journey made by a solo pilot in an unfuelled plane. The previous record was 76 hours, set by American pilot Steve Fossett in 2006.

Solar Impulse 2 is attempting to fly around the world using only solar power. It set off from Abu Dhabi in March and stopped in Oman, India, Myanmar and China. Its next stop will be Arizona in the USA. From there it will fly to New York, before heading to Europe and then back to Abu Dhabi. One of the aims of the journey is to raise awareness about climate change and renewable energy. Solar Impulse 2 co-pilot Bertrand Piccard told the USA Today newspaper that: "The most important thing isn't to make world records. It's to show what we can do with clean technologies." This is important for our planet because airplanes produce around 12 per cent of the CO2 from all sources of transportation.

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