Solar Impulse, a photovoltaic (PV) solar energy powered Swiss plane, is on its way from Madrid in Spain to Rabat in Morocco. With its lithium ion batteries solar-powered to 95 per cent of their capacity, the aircraft reached an altitude of 4 km an hour after takeoff.
It is said that the plane was flying at a speed of around 57 km per hour over Spain on its first intercontinental flight. A year ago, the Solar Impulse made a successful flight from Switzerland to France and Denmark.
The trip will coincide with the start of work in Morocco’s Ouarzazate region to construct the largest concentrating solar power (SCP) plant ever built. The Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy (MASEN) will welcome Piccard and Borschberg after the landing. MASEN is leading the implementation of the integrated Moroccan Solar Plan.
Borschberg, co-founder and CEO of Solar Impulse, is excited about landing in Morocco as a first non-European destination, and said, “This corresponds fully with the goals we had set ourselves, in terms of distance and flight duration. Flying as far as this, powered only by solar energy, will be excellent training for the round-the-world trip planned for 2014.”