Solar Impulse Update ! World’s First Solar-Powered Intercontinental Flight Completed !


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Dear Friends & Readers,

Please refer to our posts on Swiss Solar Impulse/Solar Plane

Solar Impulse HB-SIA (wikimedia)


on March 12, 2011; July 14 (1), 2011; and July 14 (2), 2011.

Solar Impulse HB-SIA fuselage & engine

Solar Impulse HB-SIA showing wing

I am pleased to announce an update for our visioinaries Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg: on the late night of June 5, 2012, Solar Impulse successfully completed the world’s first Solar- Powered Intercontinental flight!  Bertrand and Andre piloted their Solar Impulse airplane from MadridSpain (Barajas airport) to Rabat, Morocco , crossing the Gibraltar Strait and the Mediterranean.  “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 Andre Borschberg.  This Solar Impulse flight is under the High Patronage of King Mohammed VI.  Following the successful flight, the Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy (MASEN) is hosting the Solar Impulse team over a week to raise awareness of solar energy’s potential.    Mr. Mustafa Bakkoury, MASEN’s President, said “We are delighted to host this world premiere in Morocco and are very pleased with the presence of overall Solar Impulse’s impressive team.  We are also very thankful to each partner that could make this possible.”  At this point, I’d like to share the clip of World’s First Solar-Powered Intercontinental Flight, below:

The team will then head over to Ouarzazate City where the first solar complex is being developed.  Morocco’s ambitious and expensive plan to draw 40% of its energy needs from the blazing sun by 2020, (with a thermo-solar power plant of capacity of 160 megawatts and  five solar energy plants to produce 2000 megawatts of electricity), reducing CO2 emission of 3.7 million tons, received a publicity boost this week as Solar Impulse completes its first intercontinental flight and lands in the Moroccan Capital, Rabat.  “We came here out of admiration for Morocco’s pioneering solar energy program,” Bertrand Piccard said.  “It was perhaps the most beautiful flight of my life.  I have dreamed since I was a child of flying without using fuel,” said Piccard,  the man who who co-piloted the first hot airballoon to circle the world non-stop in 1999.

Morocco is one of the few countries in the region almost completely dependent on imports for its energy needs and it had been hard hit by the soaring oil prices these past few years.  “We have to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels,  most of which we import,” Mustafa Bakkouri added.  The Ouarzazate plant is expected to be operational by 2014, with plans to boost its capacity to 500 megawatts by 2015.  The ultimate goal is to draw 40% of Morocco’s energy needs from the sun by 2020 and a string of solar energy plants across North Africa that would eventually supply all the energy needs there, as well as 15% of Europe’s.

The success of this flight is not to offer an alternative to commercial airliners but to push the limit of what is possible with solar technology, be it in the form of intercontinental flight or in the form of independence from fossil fuel.  We wish continued success to both Swiss Solar Impulse and Moroccan MASEN’s energy plan.  We will also look forward to the World Flight (around the world) scheduled for Solar Impulse in 2014.

~have a bright and sunny day~

Gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

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