The Solar Impulse aircraft that had made a successful 19-hour 8-minute flight from Madrid, Spain to Rabat, Morocco has again made a safe flight. However, in this case the airplane, which has a 207-foot wingspan, turned back after attempting to reach Ouarzazate, Morocco, its final destination on a two-continent flight.
The pilot, Andre Borschberg, decided to turn around about halfway between Casablanca and Marrakesh due to deteriorating weather. "This situation is a perfect reminder of how challenging and difficult the Solar Impulse missions are and how flexible and prepared the entire team and the host country must be," officials write in a post on their official website.
Regardless, the Solar Impulse has made its mark, showing just what can be done with innovative engineering and a team willing to push the envelope.
"Now we will continue to work on further development. Many thanks for your support and patience. We'll be back with more flights as soon as possible," officials from the Finnish start-up wrote on their website.
Ben Coxworth of gizmag.com writes that in April 2012 "some readers expressed skepticism, rightly pointing out that there was no video of the plane actually flying. That changed."
I guess seeing is believing. The FlyNano is tiny and amphibious, reminding me of a cross between a Grumman Widgeon and the more rare Grumman Duck. The Widgeon is phenomenally fun to fly and can go anywhere there's a beach.
Coxworth writes that the company has "apparently already presold 35 planes" and has moved the initial delivery date up to the end of 2013. Price is about $34,000.