(VIDEO) The Solar Impulse travels 630 km in 12 hours and 59 minutes
The Solar Impulse (HB-SIA) took off from Payerne in Switzerland at 8:30 AM on May 13th.
Pilot and co-founder of the project Andre Borschberg crossed Switzerland, France, Luxembourg and Belgium without fuel, noise or pollution at an average speed of 50kph and an altitude of 1828m on 630km or 340 nautical miles, the HB-SIA had to cope with weather and heavy traffic during takeoff and landing especially.
Due to thermal winds, landing, originally scheduled at 9pm at the airport of Zaventem, was delayed by 30min for safety reasons.
This flight of the Solar Impulse was a preparatory step for the Paris Air Show and to promote the Green Week of the European Union from May 23 to 29th.
"Landing involves posting half a dozen of people on the runway, alongside the plane to its left wing to prevent that it falls on the side (it has only two wheels,one front and one rear). In addition, two cyclists (on electric bikes, of course ...) will take care of grabbing the right wing if the aircraft landed too early or late ..."
"Everything went as planned, it was fantastic. The batteries are full, if they had more capacity, I could distribute electricity to the grid after landing ... This is the strongest message of this flight, beyond the fact of reaching a major European capital." André Borschberg