Casablanca Rabat Morocco 122 (Small)

A couple of years ago I was invited to see the Solar Plane just after it had landed in Morocco in the evening.

(We should have seen it land, but you can’t hurry a Moroccan meal!)

There were people scurrying over it like ants and I was amazed at the length of the wings. They’re very long and skinny, with solar batteries underneath.

When the plane landed, the pilot, Andre Borschberg, told me that the plane was fully charged!

The Solar Plane is a very difficult plane to fly. A NASA test pilot had tried, but he couldn’t manage it.

Now the plane has set off on its planned round the world trip.

I’m sure that this is the plane of the future, although it will be a long time before a solar plane full of passengers will be able to fly.

But no doubt it will happen, although I bet the oil Companies will do everything in their power to delay it. And so will the airlines, who will have to drastically reduce their prices!

Casablanca Rabat Morocco 115 (Small)


Press Release

Solar Impulse lands successfully in Rabat: 1st leg of return flight completed

Rabat, 29 June 2012 – After a rich week of events in Ouarzazate, Morocco’s construction site of what will be the world’s largest thermo-solar power plant, the Solar Impulse aircraft of Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg has completed its first leg of the return home, landing in Rabat-Salé International airport at 10:22 PM (UTC+1), 29 June.

With André Borschberg at the controls, the Solar Impulse airplane took-off this morning at 07:33 (UTC+1) from Ouarzazate International airport. After flying over the Atlas Mountains at an altitude of 3’600 meters, avoiding the formation of thunderstorms later in the morning, the prototype flew in the direction of Marrakesh. Because of strong winds at a high altitude and thermals from the ground, the pilot found a holding area between Marrakesh and Rabat where he waited for sunset before beginning his final descent into Rabat-Salé. After a flight lasting a total of 14h49min, André Borschberg safely landed the solar aircraft at 10:22 PM (UTC+1).

Casablanca Rabat Morocco 116 (Small)Ouarzazate is the construction site of what will be the world’s largest thermo-solar power plant, expected to produce 160MW during its first phase and 500MW by 2015. The plant is based on concentrating solar power (CSP) technology using parabolic trough solar collectors with heat storage; it will be the largest of its kind. The Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy (Masen) and Solar Impulse share a common message, which is why Ouarzazate had always been the desired destination of the 2012 Crossing Frontiers mission. Both are engaged to invest in innovative projects today for job creation and sustainable growth while also protecting the environment. Just after take-off, André Borschberg made a loop around the construction site as a way to honor Morocco’s innovative project and give one last farewell before returning to the country’s capital city.

The HB-SIA is expected to stay in Rabat to undergo the usual technical check-up after 50 hours of flight before making its way back to Europe. It will first make a stop in Madrid before completing the last leg of the mission, bringing it back to Payerne, Switzerland.

Flight report:

Ouarzazate – Rabat

Pilot: André Borschberg, CEO and co-founder

Take-off time: 29/06/2012 07:33 AM UTC+1

Time of landing: 29/06/2012 10:22 PM UTC+1

Flight duration: 14h49min

Average speed: 64.82 km/h

Average altitude: 4’000 metres (13’123 feet)

Distance: 457 km

Press releases, HD pictures, b-rolls, films and biographies can be downloaded at the

following addresses:

User: solar-impulse

Password: zerofuelairplane-2012

For more information:

Solar Impulse Masen

Press Department Bouchaib El Yafi

Office +41 58 219 2440 Mobile: +212 6 61 08 88 63

Mobile +212 6 52 30 65 71


Casablanca Rabat Morocco 118 (Small)About Solar Impulse

Solar Impulse HB-SIA, the first airplane designed to fly day and night without requiring fuel and without producing carbon emissions, demonstrates the enormous potential held by new technologies in terms of energy savings and renewable energy production. Seven years of  intensive work, calculations and tests by a team of 70 people and 80 partners have contributed to producing this revolutionary carbon fiber airplane, with a wingspan as wide as that of an Airbus A340 (63.4m) and a weight equivalent to that of an average family car. It is the largest airplane of its weight ever to have been built. The 12,000 solar cells integrated into the wing supply four electric motors (maximum power 10CV each) with renewable energy and charge the 400kg lithium polymer batteries during the day, enabling the aircraft to fly at night. The Solar Impulse project is supported, among others, by: Solvay, Omega, Deutsche Bank and

Schindler as Principal Partners; Bayer Material Science and Altran as Official Partners; EPFL

(Lausanne Federal Institute of Technology) as Official Scientific Consultant and Dassault-

Aviation as Aviation Consultant.


MASEN is responsible for the launching of the Moroccan solar energy plan consisting of developing an integrated solar power strategy. Aside from the production of electricity,

MASEN’s activities provide the country with a competitive industrial profile in the solar energy sector, with research and development skills supporting the improvement and development of

solar technologies and to develop specialized training branches to feed the needs of this sector.


Casablanca Rabat Morocco 121 (Small)

What’s the Morocco address/location of your base there? We don’t have any permanent base there. We flew in Morocco under the High Patronage of King Mohammed VI and upon invitation of the Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy (Masen).

Where did the plane fly from when I saw it? What was the date? If I am not wrong it was June 29 and we returned from Ouarzazate (find the press release attached)

When is it next flying? Next flight will be probably in the US next spring/summer. We are currently studying the possibility to make a coast to coast (west-east) flight. In the meantime the second aircraft (the one who will circumnavigate the globe) is currently under construction in Switzerland.

When is the round-the-world trip? We expect to make the first test flights in 2014 with this second airplane and start the round the world in 2015

What about problems with visas, airspace, etc? Our team contact each country and ask for permission to flight. Usually we are warmly welcomed. As long as you have a permit to fly from your origin country (Switzerland for us) it’s easier to get authorization.

I think the pilot said that the plane is difficult to fly. It depends the weather conditions. When there are turbulences the pilot has to work a lot and use his muscle to maintain the direction!

What do you envisage as the future of the plane & its usefulness? When Bertrand Piccard initiated this project, it was for Solar Impulse to carry messages and not passengers. Now, that André Borschberg and him have a plane that can fly day and night without fuel, nobody can pretend anymore that we cannot use the same clean technologies for cars, buildings, heating systems, and so on. The Cleantechs can help our society to reduce its dependence to fossil fuels. We can see how people are discouraged by the magnitude of the problems, instead of being motivated by new technological solutions which could bring employment and open new markets while at the same time protecting the environment. This is the kind of motivation Solar Impulse wants to create

On the other side, aviation must of course also change in order to survive the constant augmentation of the kerosene price, but at the contrary to Solar Impulse, the engines of commercial flights are not ready yet to abandon the use of fuel. We are only showing that “ who can do the most, can also do the least” .



To have all information and live again all the flights of this summer please go on our website and type MISSION FLIGHTS in the tag search box you will find all the content related (text, picture, video).


Please feel free to contact me for any further information.


Best regards


Alexandra Gindroz

Media Relations Manager

+41 (0) 79 688 45 55


Solar Impulse SA

PSE-C, EPFL Scientific Park

1015 Lausanne, Switzerland

Tél: +41 (0) 58 219 24 40

Follow Solar Impulse on facebook and twitter



About Lyn

LYN FUNNELL CV (well, sort of!) Lyn had very successful careers as an Air Hostess, Sales Rep, (she was one of only a couple of women. She beat all the men regularly, becoming the Top Rep in the UK, and 2nd in the world.) And then Catering took over. She did everything from the washing-up, to Silver Service Waitress, and Chef. A few times, she had to cook the meal, dash round the other side and Silver Serve it! In between all this, she wrote as often as she could, building up a reputation as a published short story writer, (Horror and a twist in the tale,) and a Poet. She has appeared as a Performing Poet, and a Demo Chef. Then she discovered the world of the Food & Travel Writer. And that’s what she has continued doing to this day. Her main hobbies are Cookery and entering Competitions. She has won many prizes, including holidays and a moped. She enjoys entering Competitions, submitting her original recipes. She was first in many Competitions, including the Good Housekeeping Millenium Menu, Fruits of France, Bernard Matthews Turkey Recipe, and appeared on BBC’s The One Show Spag Bol contest. She was one of three Finalists, coming 2nd, which makes her Britain’s Spag Bol Queen! Now she runs B-C-ing-U! and loves it! After several years of being messed around by Editors, and having loads of contacts, Lyn formed her own online Magazine, vowing to treat her writers fairly, and to do everything possible to further their careers, publicise their books, etc. She now has a band of excellent regular writers, and the Magazine’s going from strength to strength! Lyn’s online published books; Adverse Camber A collection of my published poems. The First Book of Short Stories The Second Book of Short Stories The Third Book of Short Stories. Many of these stories have been previously published. St Anthony of Padua. The Patron St of the Old. A story of one woman’s terrible ordeal in a Home, and her family’s rescue of her. The Girl Who Watched. A Cuban girl is attacked by an English journalist & what follows! Willy the Whizz & the Wormhole. Suitable for Young Adults, aged 15-95! Get Out Of Debt And Stay Out – Forever! Unsympathetic, hard-hitting, realistic solutions to your problems. All these books are published by Andrews UK Ltd No, I didn’t pay them to Vanity Publish! They’re all available from Amazon, and many other online publishers. LYN FUNNELL.