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2012: World’s first solar-powered intercontinental flight

A thrilling year for Solar Impulse starting with a simulation of a 72-hour flight and culminating in the decoration of André Borschberg and Bertrand Piccard by King Mohammed VI after completing world’s first fully solar-powered intercontinental flight. While HB-SIA, piloted alternately by André Borschberg and Bertrand Piccard, made its way this summer from Payerne (Switzerland) to Ouarzazate (Morocco) with intermediate stops in Madrid (Spain) and Rabat (Morocco), Solar Impulse’s team of engineers continued the construction of HB-SIB, Solar Impulse’s second generation aircraft.

February

  • February 24: Successful simulation of a 72-hour flight (3 days and 3 nights).

May

  • May 7: Bertrand Piccard’s last test flight before the 2012 Crossing Frontiers Mission flights.
  • May 11: Launching of Solar Impulse’s new website.
  • May 21: Structural testing of HB-SIB’s gondola in Dübendorf.
  • May 25: First leg of Solar Impulse’s first intercontinental flight begins. HB-SIA lands successfully in Madrid.

June

  • June 6: Solar Impulse completes its first intercontinental flight and lands in Rabat, on Moroccan soil.
  • June 13: HB-SIA takes off for first attempt to reach Ouarzazate, the doorstep to the Moroccan desert.
  • June 22: Solar Impulse triumphantly lands in Ouarzazate to the beat of traditional Berber music happily concluding its 2nd attempt to reach its destination in Southern Morocco.
  • June 28: HB-SIA returns to Rabat after a week of events in Ouarzazate, and begins its return home.

July

  • July 5: Wing spar of HB-SIB cracks and the final structural test fails.
  • July 7: Solar Impulse lands in Madrid.
  • July 17: HB-SIA lands in Toulouse-Francazal airport.
  • July 24: The Solar Impulse team concludes the world’s first roundtrip, fully solar-powered intercontinental flight by landing safely at its home base in Payerne, Switzerland. The 2012 Crossing Frontiers mission flights conclude to the sounds of Switzerland’s traditional Alphorn music.

August

  • August 30: André Borschberg and Bertrand Piccard receive a decoration by King Mohammed VI for their courage and efforts to promote the Moroccan solar program with their flight to Rabat and Ouarzazate.

A thrilling year for Solar Impulse starting with a simulation of a 72-hour flight and culminating in the decoration of André Borschberg and Bertrand Piccard by King Mohammed VI after completing world’s first fully solar-powered intercontinental flight. While HB-SIA, piloted alternately by André Borschberg and Bertrand ...



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