Toulouse, 23 July 2012 – After accomplishing the mission of connecting Africa to Europe, the solar airplane of Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg will take-off tomorrow, 24 July 2012 at 07:00 AM (UTC+2) to complete the world’s first roundtrip intercontinental flight without a drop of fuel. The prototype is expected to land at its home base in Payerne (Switzerland) 24 July around 08:00 PM (UTC+2).
Piloted by Bertrand Piccard, the prototype will take-off for the final leg of this mission flight tomorrow 24 July 2012 from Toulouse-Francazal airport at 07:00 AM (UTC+2). It will fly south of Toulouse and over the Massif Central. It will then go west of Lyon towards Roanne and Mâcon finally approaching the Franco-Swiss border in the area of Pontarlier somewhere around 05:00PM (UTC+2). Once HB-SIA crosses the border into Switzerland, it will cross the Jura and hold until the thermals calm down allowing a final approach into Payerne airfield. The aircraft will fly at 3’600 meters most of the flight. The landing is planned to occur after 08:00PM (UTC+2) where the public will have the occasion to watch the landing from a hillock at the airfield.
Solar Impulse has launched a photo contest open to all those located on the HB-SIA’s route. The best in-flight and landing photos will be selected by the founders and pilots, Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg. The photos will need to be uploaded on the Solar Impulse website at http://www.solarimpulse.com\timeline\view\6530 in order to be one of the two winners.
The flight can be followed LIVE on solarimpulse.com. A LiveStream video will be running throughout the flight with images and sound of the pilot in action, take-off, landing and interaction with the Mission Control Center. Everybody can follow the adventure and media will have the opportunity to interview the pilot live from the cockpit.
As soon as HB-SIA touches down on the Payerne runway it will have completed, since 24 May 2012, 6000km, in 8 legs in average 800km and will have landed in 4 countries and 2 continents. Initially designed only to prove its aptitude to fly day and night it has gone beyond its mandate further proving the reliability of its technology and the efficiency of its energy consumption. The flights have also provided the Solar Impulse team with a dress rehearsal for the flight around the world, giving them a sneak-prevue what will be needed technically and logistically and how to improve the management unexpected events.
Solar Impulse made its way to the Kingdom of Morocco, under High Patronage of His Majesty King Mohammed VI and upon invitation of the Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy (Masen), to further strengthen their common goal: to invest in innovative technologies and renewable energies for job creation and sustainable growth. Solar Impulse was honored to be Morocco’s Ambassador and was struck by the public sensitivity to the project and solar energy in general.
Date: Jul 24, 2012