Flight Report: Madrid – Rabat
TAKE-OFF TIME: 05:22 (UTC+2) 05.06.12
LANDING TIME: 23:30 (UTC+1) 05.06.12
FLIGHT DURATION: 19 H 8 MIN
AVERAGE GROUND SPEED: 51,8 KM/H
HIGHEST ALTITUDE REACHED: 8’229 M (27’000 FT)
FLIGHT DISTANCE: 830 KM
The crowds cheered as the HB-SIA landed in Morocco’s Rabat-Salé international airport at 11:30PM (UTC+1) after 19 hours of flight. It was a spectacular site with representatives of the Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy (MASEN), journalists, invitees and, of course, the Solar Impulse team that had impatiently waited to complete this symbolic intercontinental leg of the 2012 Crossing Frontiers mission.
“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 highlights of my carrier as an aeronaut,” said Bertrand Piccard as the ground crew opened the cockpit.
Since November 2011, both MASEN and the Solar Impulse team have worked very hard to make this event possible. The arrival of the solar airplane is a wonderful apex to the months of preparations and growing expectations.
“We are Solar Impulse’s first intercontinental landing and we are ready to host this worldwide premier, this historical moment, as we are also landing with it,” said Mr. Bakkoury, President of MASEN. “It is an important moment for the MASEN. As initiators of another innovative project, the world’s largest thermo-solar power plant, we share a common message with Solar Impulse; a strong one: solar energy no longer restricted to the scientific world but is becoming an integrative part of daily. We will begin production in 2014, coinciding with Solar Impulse’s world tour.”
“This flight marks a new stage in the history of the project because we have reached another continent,” added André Borschberg, in consensus with Mr. Bakkoury’s comments “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.”
Official events for youth and adult audiences, seminars and conferences organized by MASEN will take place throughout the week in Rabat in an effort to raise awareness about the possibilities clean technologies can offer. So don’t miss out on the photos and videos that will be posted daily on our website and the blog throughout the week directly from Rabat!