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Solar airplane

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20 July 2012

After accomplishing the mission of connecting Africa to Europe, the solar airplane Solar Impulse of Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg will take-off tomorrow from Madrid (Spain), 17 July 2012 at 05:30 AM (UTC+2). The differing meteorological conditions between Madrid and the South of France, on the one hand, and between Central France and Switzerland might require the prototype to do a pit stop in Toulouse (France) before continuing, the following, day to Payerne (Switzerland).

As a pioneering project, Solar Impulse is ready to proceed despite the challenging weather forecast in the coming days. It is still unsure whether a direct flight to Switzerland can be achieved in one go, but different options are being evaluated by the Mission Control Center. Strong winds north of the Pyrenees on Tuesday 17 July would make it difficult to reach Switzerland that same day, leading HB-SIA, with Bertrand Piccard at the controls, to land in Toulouse Francazal airport (France) with a next day departure, on Wednesday 18 July 2012, to Payerne (Switzerland). Possibility of thunderstorms over the Mountain range would make the crossing challenging on Wednesday 18 July, so the Tuesday 17 July option to Toulouse is more likely. All flight changes will be posted on solarimpulse.com.

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