“Mother Nature seems to be more favorable than the last time,” said pilot Andre Borschberg optimistically before the flight. When Solar Impulse, the Swiss-made solar powered plane landed in Ouarzazate, it indeed turned out to be a landmark journey.
Not only has the aircraft made its first successful flight over the Moroccan desert, but it was the first-ever flight between two continents by an aircraft without using conventional fossil fuel. Solar Impulse is fitted with 12,000 solar cells and has four electric motors powering propellers.
The landing point, Ouarzazate, has also been proposed by the Moroccan authorities to build the largest solar power station in the world.
The plane took off from Rabatat dawn on Thursday. It landed in at 26 minutes after midnight. The pilot had made an attempt on June 13, but had to cancel the plans due to bad weather conditions.
Before its historic flight, the aircraft was taken out for a short flight from Madrid to Rabat by fellow inventor and adventurer Bertrand Piccard; yeah the same guy who made the first non-stop around-the-world balloon flight 13 years ago.
The major motive behind the latest flight over the Moroccan desert was to showcase renewable energy, as a key summit in Rio modelled concept of “greening” the world economy.
The flight was jointly organised by the Swiss Solar Impulse company and the Moroccan agency for solar energy (Masen).The authorities have planned a round-the-world trip in 2014 by an updated version of the plane. These flights are considered to be rehearsals of this major goal.