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  • A handout picture made available by Solar Impulse shows Swiss long-range experimental solar-powered aircraft Solar Impulse 2 (Si2) taking off from JFK International Airport in New York, New York, June 20, 2016.

    A handout picture made available by Solar Impulse shows Swiss long-range experimental solar-powered aircraft Solar Impulse 2 (Si2) taking off from JFK International Airport in New York, New York, June 20, 2016. | Photo: EFE

The plane is attempting to become the first aircraft of its kind to circumnavigate the world.

Solar Impulse II, a plane exclusively powered by solar energy, began the transAtlantic stage of its planned world tour on Monday, taking off from New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport for Seville, Spain.

The plane, which is attempting to become the first aircraft of its kind to circumnavigate the world, took off at 0660 GMT and is expected to land in Seville about 90 hours later, with arrival scheduled for Thursday.

During this stage, one of the most difficult because it will last four days and four nights, Solar Impulse II is being flown by one of its inventors, Bertrand Piccard.

The plane will fly nonstop if the weather allows it.

Last year, the other engineer involved in the project, Andre Borschberg, flew five days and nights across the Pacific Ocean, breaking a record and demonstrating that the airplane is able to fly nonstop.

This year, with a roundtheworld flight on an aircraft powered only by solar energy, the developers hope to raise awareness among governments and persuade them to support technology solutions to protect the environment.

So far, Piccard and Borschberg, taking turns as pilots, have completed 80 percent of their circumnavigation quest.

In the previous stage, Borschberg flew 129 kilometers (80.1 miles) from the Lehigh Valley in Pennsylvania to New York.

After landing in Europe, Solar Impulse II will be ready for the flight to Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates, where the journey began in March 2015.

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