Today Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg’s Solar Impulse aircraft will attempt to complete the world’s first fully solar-powered flight over the Strait of Gibraltar! The first leg of the trip was piloted by André Borschberg from Switzerland to Spain, and now Bertrand Piccard will complete the challenge to reach Morocco, which means that the plane will travel over 1,500 miles without a drop of fuel.
The Solar Impulse solar-powered plane will take off from Madrid-Barajas airport (Spain) at 11:30PM (ESDT) and will ascend to an altitude of 12,000 feet in the direction of Seville. The plane will then cross the Gibraltar strait over the Mediterranean around 12:00PM, entering Moroccan airspace via Tangier in the direction of Rabat (Morocco). The prototype is expected to land in Rabat-Salé international airport on Tuesday June 5 from 06:00PM.
The Solar Impulse has 12,000 solar cells on its wings that are capable of powering the plane’s four 10-horsepower engines. Even though the Solar Impulse gets its energy from the sun, it is capable of flying day and night without fuel.
Bertrand Piccard said: “Our airplane is not designed to carry passengers, but to carry a message.” Tomorrow’s flight will act as a dress rehearsal in preparation for the plane’s flight around the world in 2014, which includes at least one stopover in the United States of America. The flight can be followed live on www.solarimpulse.com.