The Swiss solar powered aircraft called Solar Impulse will attempt to fly from Switzerland to Morocco in coming weeks. Should the flight be successful, it will be the aircraft’s longest flight to date. After its inaugural flight to Paris and Brussels in 2011, Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg’s Solar Impulse will attempt to fly 1,500 miles without a drop of fuel and land in Morocco.
Piccard and Borschberg will take turns to pilot the plane during the journey that will take two full days with the swapping of pilots expected to take place during a stopover at Madrid. The trip which is expected to be held in May or June is a mere rehearsal for their ultimate goal which is to complete a round-the-world flight in 2014. According to Borschberg who is co-founder and chief executive of Solar Impulse, the trip to Morocco would be very good training for when the aircraft goes around the world 2 years from now.
The high-tech aircraft which has wings as long as a large commercial aircraft, weighs no more than a saloon car, made history in July 2010 when it became the first manned plane to fly around the clock in an aircraft using the sun’s energy. The aircraft also holds the record for the longest flight by a manned solar-powered airplane after the aircraft stayed at an altitude of 30,298 ft (for which it also holds a record) for 26 hours 10 minutes and 19 seconds.