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Solar Impulse 2 Tuesday completed its historic round-the-world journey, becoming the first airplane to circle the globe powered only by the sun to promote renewable energy.It capped a remarkable 43,000-kilometer (26,700-mile) journey across four continents, two oceans and three seas, accomplished in 23 days of flying without a drop of fuel.Dubbed the "paper plane", Solar Impulse 2 circumnavigated the globe in 17 stages, with 58-year-old Piccard and his compatriot Andre Borschberg taking turns at the controls of the single-seat aircraft.The plane clocked an average speed of 80 kilometers an hour (50 miles per hour).A psychiatrist who made the first non-stop balloon flight around the world in 1999, Piccard had warned the last leg would be difficult because of the high temperatures."It was a project that was very difficult, a lot of people doubted we could do it, so of course for the team it's fantastic but also for all the people who believe in clean technologies," Piccard told reporters after landing.While the pilots do not expect commercial solar-powered planes any time soon, they hope the project will help spur wider progress in clean energy.
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