July 18, 2012
Solar Impulse Lands In Toulouse, Postpones Final Flight Home
Lawrence LeBlond for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
The Solar Impulse aircraft of Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg landed safely in Toulouse, France yesterday (July 17) evening at 9:46 p.m. (local time). Yet, with only one more leg to go to complete their historic 2012 journey, the duo have postponed that flight, which was scheduled to lift off today for Payerne, until further notice.
Strong winds and turbulence around the area of Jura makes it near impossible to make a safe flight from Toulouse, France to Payerne, Switzerland today, according to the Mission Control.
“It´s exactly what we like in this project, we never get bored,” said Borschberg, CEO and co-founder of Solar Impulse, after the announcement of the postponed flight. “We knew the window was tight but unfortunately it closed too early and we took the wise decision to favor safety,” he added.
“If these missions were easy, everybody would have done them long ago,” noted Piccard, initiator of the Solar Impulse Project.
Piccard will be at the helm once conditions improve and the HB-SIA aircraft can make a safe trip home to Payerne. The team said Toulouse, headquarters of the historical Aeropostale, the world´s first commercial flight route connecting France to North Africa, was the perfect place to allow the team to make a final flight home.
Once the plane touches down in Payerne, the 2012 Crossing Frontiers mission would have logged nearly 3,750 miles since the flights began on May 24, 2012. The mission brought the plane and the team from Switzerland, through Spain and Morocco and back again all without a single drop of fuel, proving the reliability of the aircraft´s technology and the efficiency of solar energy.