Thu, Jul 19, 2012
Flight On To Payerne Postponed Due To High Winds
The Solar Impulse aircraft landed successfully at Toulouse-Francazal airport Tuesday, but it's return to Switzerland has been postponed while the crew waits for acceptable weather. Originally planned for Wednesday, the departure to Payerne has been delayed because of growing winds in the area around the Jura, causing strong turbulence in the border region between France and Switzerland.
“It’s exactly what we like in this project, we never get bored!” said half-jokingly André Borschberg, CEO and co-founder of Solar Impulse, after the announcement of the postponed flight, before adding: “We knew the window was tight but unfortunately it closed too early and we took the wise decision to favor safety.” Bertrand Piccard, initiator of the Solar Impulse program, underlined that “If these missions were easy, everybody would have done them long ago!”
Piccard flew the Solar Impulse HB-SIA from Madrid to Toulouse-Francazal airport. Toulouse, headquarters of the historical Aéropostale, the world’s first commercial flight route connecting France to North Africa, was the perfect destination to allow the prototype to approach its home base. As soon as the weather conditions are favorable again, Piccard will take the controls of the prototype to bring it back home.
When the HB-SIA prototype lands in Payerne airfield, it will have completed 3,240 nautical miles since its departure for the Crossing Frontiers mission flights on May 24, 2012 using no fuel. The flight travelled across Switzerland, Spain and then over the Mediterranean to Morocco, proving the reliability of the aircraft’s technology and the efficiency of its energy consumption.
Solar Impulse made its way to the Kingdom of Morocco at the 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.
(Image Landing in Toulouse-Francazal © Solar Impulse - Jean Revillard)
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