Solar Impulse Attempts Its Longest Flight Yet

by Antonio Pasolini on May 31, 2012

Solar Impulse founders (left to right) Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg

Earlier this month I wrote about the Turanor PlanetSolar, the first sea vessel to complete a journey around the world on solar power. It arrived at its destination in Monaco on May 04th after 19 months of navigation.

Now another intrepid team is taking the solar challenge to new heights. The team behind Solar Impulse has attempted the longest solar-power air journey so far. It is travelling between Switzerland and Morocco but the plane landed in Spain to change pilots and because at this stage it can’t accomplish an intercontinental flight in one go. Solar Impulse arrived in Madrid last Friday and should be taking off to complete the final leg of its journey any day now.

It took 17 and a half hours to fly between Payerne in Switzerland and Madrid’s Barajas airport. “The flight went very well and thanks to the team of meteorologists, everything went according to the plan. It was extraordinary,” said André Borschber,” one of Solar Impulse’s founders.

Morocco as a destination is part of a marketing strategy for the country, which will build a 160 MW thermal solar power plant. Morocco hopes to become a solar powerhouse by 2020.

To find out more technical details of the Solar Impulse, go here.


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