July 23, 2012
Solar Impulse Heading Home After Toulouse Pit Stop
Lawrence LeBlond for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
The Solar Impulse HB-SIA prototype of Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg has been scheduled to depart Toulouse-Francazal airport for its final flight home to Payerne, Switzerland for tomorrow, 24 July 2012 at 7 a.m. (local time).
If all goes as planned, the HB-SIA, piloted by Piccard, should arrive in Payerne on the evening of 24 July at around 8 p.m. (local time). When Piccard lands in Payerne it will complete the first ever roundtrip intercontinental solar flight without a single drop of fuel.
After lift off tomorrow morning, Piccard will fly south of Toulouse and over the Massif Central. He will then go west of Lyon towards Roanne and Macon finally approaching the Franco-Swiss border near Pontarlier sometime around 5 p.m. Once crossing into his Swiss native land, Piccard will cross the Jura and hold until thermals calm down allowing for a final approach to Payerne airfield.
Media and the public can view the landing from a small hill near the airfield and programs are scheduled for once the Solar Impulse aircraft lands. A Press Conference is also scheduled for about an hour after the plane lands, and events should wrap up a few hours after homecoming.
Although the flight has been scheduled, the project leaders may still decide to postpone or alter the flight up to a short time before the launch
Solar Impulse has launched a photo contest open to those located along the flight path. The best in-flight and landing photos will be selected by Piccard and Borschberg. Photos need to be uploaded to the website in order to qualify.
The flight can be followed live at solarimpulse.com