Solar-powered plane continues worldwide flight

A solar-powered airplane landed in suburban Phoenix Monday night after a daylong flight from California — the latest leg in its around-the-world journey using only energy from the sun.

The Swiss-made Solar Impulse 2 arrived in the suburb of Goodyear, just southwest of Phoenix, shortly before 9 p.m. PDT.

Pilot Andre Borschberg called the 16-hour trip “a beautiful flight” after stepping from the cockpit.

“It was a special flight; not a long flight,” he added.

The aircraft took off from Mountain View in Northern California shortly after 5 a.m.

It began its globe-circling journey last year, and flew from Hawaii to the Silicon Valley last week.

After Phoenix, the plane will make two more stops in the United States before crossing the Atlantic Ocean to Europe or northern Africa, according to the website documenting the journey.

For several minutes after arriving, Borschberg remained aboard as powerful winds buffeted the aircraft, forcing the ground crew to hold down it down with straps.

“Sometimes it is more difficult to handle the airplane on the ground than in flight,” he told reporters later.

Video from cameras aboard the aircraft as well as on the ground at the Goodyear airport showed the Solar Impulse as it flew through the night sky en route to its safe touchdown.