Solar Impulse completes Morocco to Spain flight

The Solar Impulse solar-powered aircraft departed Rabat, Morocco, on July 6 and arrived in Madrid, Spain, on July 7, traveling 898 km in just more than 17 hours.

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The composites-intensive Solar Impulse solar-powered aircraft on July 7 completed its flight from Rabat, Morocco, to Madrid, Spain, Madrid, landing at Madrid-Barajas International airport early Saturday morning.

With Bertrand Piccard at the controls, the Solar Impulse airplane took off the morning of July 6 at 6:17 a.m. (UTC+1) from Rabat-Sa airport. After flying towards Tangier and over the Strait of Gibraltar, the solar aircraft steered in the direction Madrid. Because of strong crosswinds over the Iberian Peninsula, the pilot found a holding area west of Seville where he waited for the right moment to journey towards Toledo. After a flight lasting a total of 17 hours, Piccard safely landed the prototype at 1:19 a.m. (UTC+2).

“Bertrand did a wonderful flight and the aircraft's technology has once again proven its reliability and its energy-savings efficiency. This flight has taught us even more about the aircraft, allowing us to fly through winds superior to the speed of the airplane," says André Borschberg cofounder and CEO of Solar Impulse SA (Lausanne, Switzerland).

The Kingdom of Morocco ws selected as a destination for the Solar Impulse 2012 Crossing Frontiers mission flights  to support Morocco’s solar energy and other renewables initiatives, through the Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy (Masen).

The 898-km/485-nm flight took 17 hours, 2 minutes, at an average speed of 60 kmh/37 mph and average altitude of 4,870m/16,000 ft.