Gallery: Solar Impulse Completes World’s First Solar-Powered Interconti...

 

Late last night the Solar Impulse successfully completed the world’s first solar-powered intercontinental flight! After taking off from Spain, Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg piloted their Solar Impulse airplane over 515 miles to their destination in Rabat, Morocco. “This flight marks a new stage in the history of the project because we have reached another continent. Furthermore, after almost 20 hours of flight, we landed with a full set of batteries. This is extraordinary as it represents an increase in confidence in new technologies,” said André Borschberg as the Solar Impulse landed on the runway.

Under the High Patronage of King Mohammed VI and upon invitation of the Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy (Masen), the Solar Impulse airplane took off from Madrid-Barajas airport in Spain, which followed the previously scheduled flight plan over the Gibraltar Strait and the Mediterranean. The aircraft flew in the direction of the city of Seville towards the Strait of Gibraltar, flying over the Mediterranean Sea at an altitude of 27,000 feet and finally arriving in the Moroccan Capital. “Aside from technical and political reasons behind the decision to fly to Morocco, simply the flight over the Gibraltar straight was a magical moment and represents one of the highlight of my carrier of aeronaut.” Said joyfully Bertrand Piccard as he set his feet on the runway.

Following the successful flight, the Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy will host the Solar Impulse team over a week to raise awareness about solar energy’s potential. If weather permits the team will then head over to Ouarzazate City where the first solar complex is being developed. “We are delighted to host this world premiere in Morocco and are very pleased with the presence of the overall Solar Impulse impressive team. We are also very thankful to each partner that could make this possible” said Masen’s President, Mr. Mustapha Bakkoury.

The thermo-solar plant has a capacity of 160 megawatts and is part of Morocco’s energy plan whose goal is to build, by 2020, five solar parks with the capacity of 2,000 megawatts, reducing CO2 emission of 3.7 million tons. The Solar Impulse team also supports this pioneering project which is in line with its own message and its philosophy of renewable energies.

+ Solar Impulse

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2 Comments

  1. Rijal December 17, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    Mark,Wiring connection blcoks, can be covered up well with some grades of hot glue, and this can then be removed, if needed, with lighter fuel (petrol). An electric drill with a chuck key placed in it can act as a vibrator, to even out the silicon potting compound.

  2. moto electric June 7, 2012 at 8:59 am

    Congratulations To Solar Impulse! This just proves that we CAN find other viable fuel sources for all forms of transportation.

    Here’s another possibility — electric flight….

    The German aircraft company E-Volo has recently successfully completed the first manned flight of an electric “multicopter”. Like its cousins the helicopter and quadracopter, the aircraft gets its lift from a set of electric motor-driven propellers – in this case sixteen of them!

    Until recently, all of the craft’s flights have been unmanned. But in late October, 2011, E-Volo accomplished its first manned flight in southwest Germany, lasting about a minute and a half. Thomas Senkel, the designer/builder of the multicopter, piloted the aircraft from a center-mounted seat, utilizing a handheld wireless control unit. The test flight covered a relatively small amount of area, but proved that the technology is a viable alternative to gasoline powered flight.

    While it may be some time before a commercial version is available, Senkel estimates that it will be practical for flights of 10 to 30 minutes, depending on payload and battery capacity. To read more and link to a video of this unusual flight, visit http://www.zeitnews.org/transportation/first-ever-manned-flight-of-an-electric-multicopter-takes-place-in-germany.html

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