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Highlights of Solar Impulse’s Crossing Frontiers

After a successful conclusion to the world’s first roundtrip fully solar-powered intercontinental flight, here are the major highlights of what has been achieved:

MAY 2012

1.       24 May: Payerne to Madrid

  • Pilot: André Borschberg
  • Departure: 06:24 AM (UTC)
  • Landing: 11:28 PM (UTC) at Madrid-Barajas International airport (Spain).
  • Highlights:
    • Three world records currently being verified by the Air Sports Federation (FAI) for this flight.

JUNE 2012

2.       5 June: Madrid to Rabat

  • Pilot: Bertrand Piccard
  • Departure: 3:30 AM (UTC)
  • Landing: 10:30 PM (UTC) at Rabat-Salé International Airport (Morocco).
  • Highlights:
    • World’s first solar-powered intercontinental flight linking Europe to Africa.
    • Bertrand’s first Solar Impulse mission flight.

 3.       13 June: 1st Attempt Rabat to Ouarzazate

  • Pilot: André Borschberg
  • Departure: 07:07 AM (UTC)
  • Landing: HB-SIA returned to Rabat landing at 11:14 PM (UTC)
  • Highlights:  
    • André undertook a reconnaissance mission to a local meteorological station prior to the flight to benefit from local knowledge complementing Solar Impulse’s sophisticated modeling programs.
    • The winds were twice as strong as expected, keeping the solar aircraft at a standstill. For the safety of the aircraft and pilot, the Flight Director decided to turn back.

 4.       21 June: 2nd Attempt Rabat to Ouarzazate

  • Pilot: André Borschberg
  • Departure: 06:05 AM (UTC)
  • Landing: 11:25 PM (UTC) at Ouarzazate International airport (Morocco).
  • Highlights:
    • Symbolic destination to inaugurate the beginning of construction of what will the world’s largest thermo-solar power plant.
    • The aircraft was facing away from the sun most of the flight and André was shivering and very cold during a large portion of the leg.

 5.       29 June: Ouarzazate to Rabat

  • Pilot: André Borschberg
  • Departure: 6:33 AM (UTC)
  • Landing: 09:22 PM (UTC) at Rabat-Salé international airport (Morocco).
  • Highlights:
    • Strong westerly winds over the Atlas Mountains made finding a flight plan challenging.
    • In Rabat, HB-SIA underwent the usual technical check-up scheduled after a total of 50 hours of flight.

JULY 2012

6.       6 July: Rabat to Madrid

  • Pilot: Bertrand Piccard
  • Departure: 5:17 AM (UTC)
  • Landing: 11:19 PM (UTC) at Madrid-Barajas International airport (Morocco).
  • Highlights:
    • Bertrand not only had a guest in the cockpit (a Moroccan fly) but also completed the Solar Impulse speed record both forwards and backwards.

7.       17 July: Madrid to Toulouse

  • Pilot: Bertrand Piccard
  • Departure: 03:33 AM (UTC)
  • Landing: 07:46 PM (UTC) at Toulouse-Francazal airport (France).
  • Highlights:
    • Originally meant to be a direct flight to Payerne the small window of opportunity quickly closed causing Bertrand to land in Toulouse.
    • Toulouse: Headquarters of the historical Aéropostale, the world’s first commercial flight route connecting France to North Africa.

8.       24 July: Toulouse to Payerne

  • Pilot: Bertrand Piccard
  • Departure: 05:01 AM (UTC)
  • Landing: 06:30 PM (UTC) at Payerne airfield (Switzerland)
  • Highlights:
    • Landing welcomed by a group of Swiss Alphorn musicians and cheering spectators.
    • World’s first roundtrip fully solar-powered intercontinental flight.
    • 6’000km flown
    • 8 legs
    • 4 countries
    • 2 continents
    • 3 FAI world records being verified.
    • Over 2’723’391 unique visitors to the Solar Impulse website.
    • Over 4’164’130 viewers of the LIVE broadcastings.

After a successful conclusion to the world’s first roundtrip fully solar-powered intercontinental flight, here are the major highlights of what has been achieved:

MAY 2012

1.       24 May: Payerne ...



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