Slovenian adventurer Matevz Lenarcic flew out of the capital Ljubljana on Sunday at the start of an eco-friendly trip around the world in an ultra-light plane boasting super-low fuel mileage.
"I want to make people understand that this world is the only one we've been given and if we destroy it, we and our descendants will be losing it for good," Lenarcic told AFP ahead of the solo adventure dubbed GreenLight WorldFlight.
Lenarcic hopes to fly the Pipistrel Virus-SW914 weighing just 290 kilograms (640 pounds) some 100,000 kilometres (62,000 miles), circling the world westbound in two and a half months.
His first stop will be Morocco, followed by Senegal, from where he will embark across the Atlantic Ocean.
Lenarcic plans to overfly seven continents, 60 countries, 120 national parks, the world's highest mountains including Mount Everest, cross three oceans and the Antarctic, while burning the smallest amount of unleaded fuel per distance flown.
The accomplished aerial photographer will take pictures as well as measure the concentration of black carbon and light absorbing carbonaceous aerosols (LACA) in regions where such measurements have not been made before.
Climatologists are studying the role of these particles in global climate change.
The project is backed by Slovenian light aircraft manufacturer Pipistrel.
In collaboration with Penn State University in the United States, the plane maker Pipistrel was awarded NASA's Green Aviation prize in 2011 after succeeding in flying a different, electric aircraft 200 miles in less than two hours while using the equivalent in electricity of just over a half-gallon of fuel per occupant.
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