Rabat, 20 June 2012.- After a first unsuccessful attempt to reach Ouarzazate, Solar Impulse remains determined to reattempt the challenge of landing in Southern Morocco, a region rich of turbulences and high wind. The solar airplane of Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg will take-off from Rabat-Salé International airport in the direction of Ouarzazate Thursday 21 June 2012 at 07h00 (UTC+1). The prototype should land late in the night, after midnight (UTC+1), once the thermal activity has stopped.
Two itineraries are being evaluated to fly to Ouarzazate. The final decision will only be made a few hours before departure depending on the intensity of high altitude winds. The first itinerary will mostly follow the route of the flight's first attempt. The aircraft will fly in the direction of Casablanca by quickly ascending to a high altitude, avoiding the thermal currents. It will then go in the direction of Marrakesh at an altitude of 8'600 meters before beginning its slow descent into Ouarzazate International airport. The second itinerary will follow the coastline at low altitude, at approximately 1'000 meters, in order to fly below the high winds until Essaouira. From there, the pilot will fly inland before landing at the final destination of Ouarzazate.
This flight is an excellent occasion to bring the Solar Impulse project to the next level by pushing the limits of the aircraft and the team. Having proven the technological performance of the aircraft, the difficult meteorological conditions in the region are meant to deal with the aircraft's aeronautical limits while preparing the Solar Impulse team in crisis and risk management ahead of the 2014 world tour.
In case of another failure, Solar Impulse will continue to attempt this flight until 26 June. If the meteorological conditions don't turn out to be favorable by this date, the team will have to renounce and make his way back to Switzerland.
The choice to reattempt the flight to Ouarzazate is filled with symbolism. Despite the extreme difficulty of flying in this region, Solar Impulse wants to reach this destination because of what will be the world's largest thermo-solar power plant, planned to start production in 2015, and thus continue to provide its full support to Morocco's overall ambitious solar energy plan launch by the Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy (Masen).
As every day since Solar Impulse's arrival in Morocco, official visits and events will take place for schools, universities, associations, local companies and political personalities. Photos and videos of the events will be uploaded on the Solar Impulse and MASEN websites and Blog daily.
Although the flight has been confirmed, the Flight Director may still decide to postpone it or alter the route up to a short time before takeoff. Keep up to date with the latest news on www.solarimpulse.com.
Track the Crossing Frontiers Flights 2012 on the Internet and via the Solar Impulse app
During the Crossing Frontiers Flights, each flight can be tracked live on www.solarimpulse.com as well as via Twitter (for André or Bertrand), Facebook, Masen's Facebook page dedicated to the event "Solar Convergence Maroc" and via the Smartphone app "Solar Impulse Inventing the Future", available free on Appstore and Google Play. he airplane's position, altitude and speed will be shown live and cameras fitted inside the cockpit and at "Mission Control Center", the mission's nerve center, will allow you to experience the adventure live thanks to the satellite communication system developed by Solar Impulse's « National Telecom Partner », Swisscom.