An aeroplane powered by energy from the sun has arrived in Egypt, the penultimate stop on the first fuel-free flight around the globe. Solar Impulse 2, a spindly single-seat plane, flew over the Giza Pyramids to make a smooth landing at Cairo airport, after leaving Seville in southern Spain 48 hours and 50 minutes earlier.

The journey started in early March 2015 when the plane took off from Abu Dhabi and headed for Muscat in Oman. Since then, the 35,000km (21,750 miles) trip has seen the plane travel across Asia before making history as the first solar plane to accomplish an oceanic crossing during the almost five-day trip from Nagoya in Japan to Hawaii in the summer of 2015. The trip re-started in Hawaii in April 2016 after a winter hiatus. The Solar Impulse team will now prepare for the final leg of the journey to United Arab Emirates. IBTimes UK looks back at the solar-powered plane's pioneering round-the-world voyage.

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9 March 2015: Swiss pilots Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg smile before boarding Solar Impulse 2, at Al Bateen airport in Abu Dhabi, at the start of an attempt to fly around the world in the solar-powered planeAhmed Jadallah/Reuters
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9 March 2015: Solar Impulse 2 flies over Sheikh Zayed mosque after taking off from al-Bateen airport in Abu Dhabi as it heads to MuscatMarwan Naamani/AFP
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9 March 2015: Andre Boschberg poses for a photo with a local man after he landed Solar Impulse 2 in the Omani capital, MuscatJean Revillard/Reuters
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10 March 2015: Solar Impulse 2 flies over Muscat, Oman, en route to Ahmedabad in western IndiaJean Revillard via Getty Images
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10 March 2015: Armed Indian paramilitary soldiers stand guard after Solar Impulse 2 landed at Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport in Ahmedabad, the main city of western India's Gujarat stateSam Panthaky/AFP
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18 March 2015: Two youths take a picture of themselves with Solar Impulse 2 as it takes off from Ahmedabad en route to the northern Indian city of Varanasi for a stop, before heading to MyanmarAmit Dave/Reuters
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20 March 2015: Myanmar President Thein Sein watches a presentation on Solar Impulse 2 at Mandalay international airportSoe Zeya Tun/Reuters
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30 March 2015: Solar Impulse 2 is seen taking off from Mandalay international airportSoe Zeya Tun/Reuters
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31 March 2015: People take photos as Solar Impulse 2 arrives at southern China's Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport after a 20-hour flight from Manadalay in MyanmarVCG/VCG via Getty Images
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21 April 2015: Solar Impulse 2 leaves Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport for its flight to Nanjing in eastern ChinaVCG/VCG via Getty Images
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22 April 2015: Solar Impulse 2 is seen in a hangar at Lukou International Airport in Nanjing, Jiangsu provinceVCG/VCG via Getty Images
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31 May 2015: A Chinese security guard stands by shortly before the Swiss-made solar-powered plane Solar Impluse 2 takes off from Lukou International Airport in Nanjing, in China's eastern Jiangsu province for a planned six-day flight over the Pacific Ocean, the most ambitious leg of its quest to circumnavigate the globe powered only by the sunJohannes Eisele/AFP
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1 June 2015: The Nagano mountain area is photographed by Swiss pilot Andre Borschberg in the cockpit of Solar Impulse 2. The solar-powered plane cut short the seventh leg of its 35,000km journey, landing in Nagoya, western Japan, due to bad weatherAndre Borschberg/Solar Impulse/Reuters
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3 June 2015: Solar Impulse 2 is parked in an inflatable hangar after an unscheduled landing at Nagoya airport in JapanThomas Peter/Reuters
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29 June 2015: Yasemine Borschberg waves a Japanese flag as Solar Impulse 2, piloted by her husband, takes off from Nagoya Komaki airport in Japan en route to Hawaii after spending an unscheduled four-week stopover. The five-day flight to Hawaii is expected to be longest leg of the plane's 35,000km round-the-world journeyJean Revillard/SI2/Global Newsroom via Getty Images
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3 July 2015: Bertrand Piccard celebrates with Andre Borschberg after Solar Impulse 2, piloted by Borschberg, landed at Kalaeloa airport in Hawaii after flying non-stop from Nagoya, Japan, breaking a world record for the longest non-stop solo flightHugh Gentry/Reuters
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21 April 2016: Michele Piccard sends a kiss to her husband as Solar Impulse2 takes off from Kalaeloa Airport in O'ahu, Hawaii, on a non-stop, three-day flight to San FranciscoChristophe Chammartin Solar Impulse 2/GNR via Getty Images
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21 April 2016: The solar-powered plane piloted by Bertrand Piccard is seen in the air after successfully taking off from Kalaeloa Airport in O'ahu, Hawaii, en route to San FranciscoJean Revillard/Solar Impulse 2/GNR via Getty Images
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23 April 2016: Solar Impulse 2, piloted by Bertrand Piccard, flies over the Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco after a 62-hour flight from HawaiiJean Revillard/Solar Impulse/Reuters
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12 May 2016: Bertrand Piccard looks at a figurine of Captain Jean-Luc Picard prior to taking off from Goodyear Airport in Phoenix, Arizona, heading for Tulsa International Airport in OklahomaSI2/Jean Revillard/Reuters
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25 May 2016: Bertrand Piccard takes a selfie onboard Solar Impulse 2 during his flight from Dayton, Oklahoma to Lehigh Valley, PennsylvaniaReuters
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11 June 2016: Solar Impulse 2 flies over the Statue of Liberty before landing at JFK airport in New YorkDon Emmert/AFP
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20 June 2016: Bertrand Piccard of Switzerland pilots the Solar Impulse 2 aircraft as it takes off from John F Kennedy International Airport in New York on the transatlantic leg of its record-breaking flight around the worldTrevor Collens/AFP
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23 June 2016: Spanish Air Force jets trail the colours of the national flag as Solar Impulse 2 arrives at Seville airport after a 70-hour journey from New York powered only by sunlightCristina Quicler/AFP
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11 July 2016: Solar Impulse 2 flies over the Gemasolar Thermosolar Plant in Seville, Spain, heading for Cairo, EgyptAmalie Decloux, Jean Revillard/SI2/Reuters
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13 July 2016: Solar Impulse 2 flies over the pyramids of Giza prior to landing in Cairo, EgyptJean Revillard/SI2/Reuters

The plane has been piloted in turns by Swiss aviators Andre Borschberg and Bertrand Piccard in a campaign to build support for clean energy technologies. Solar Impulse 2 flies without a drop of fuel, its four engines are powered solely by energy collected from more than 17,000 solar cells in its wings. Surplus power is stored in batteries during the day to keep the plane aloft on long-distance flights. The carbon fibre plane has a wingspan exceeding that of a Boeing 747, but is the weight of a family car. It can climb to about 8,500 metres (28,000 feet) and cruise at 55-100km per hour (34-62mph).