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Solar Impulse arrrives in Paris for air show

A Swiss solar-powered aircraft has arrived in Paris from Brussels after solving a series of technical hitches.

The Solar Impulse is taking part in the International Paris Air Show, the biggest such show in the world, where it has been billed as a special guest. It’s the aircraft’s second international flight.

It took off from the military section of Brussels airport at 5.10am on Tuesday, taking advantage of a small weather window between rain fronts and landed 14 minutes ahead of schedule at Bourget airport in Paris at 9.16pm.

The aircraft had to circle for several hours before landing because of heavy air traffic around Charles de Gaulle airport.

In a first failed attempt on Saturday, weather conditions and problems with the landing gear meant the plane had to turn back after three hours.

The Solar Impulse team coordinated with pilot André Borschberg from the plane’s hub in Payerne in canton Vaud. 

The plane had been in Brussels since making its first international flight from Switzerland on May 13.

Solar Impulse, the brainchild of Swiss round-the-world balloonist Bertrand Piccard, has the wingspan of a Boeing 747-400 and weighs 1,600kg – about the same as an average family car. Its electric motors obtain their energy from 12,000 solar cells mounted on the wings.

swissinfo.ch and agencies


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