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Behind the scenes of the Solar Impulse missions

The Mission Control Centre engineers’ log book

Altran engineers who are living the adventure Solar Impulse from the inside recount each mission in this log book: the flights and stopovers as well as the fears and joys. You can relive each mission as if you had been there yourself.

2010: From the first flight to the night flight

“It is 7:00 in the morning, and Solar Impulse is moving towards sunrise aiming to remain airborne as long as possible while staying within range of the Payerne air base.”

2011: First European flights

“The aircraft was scheduled to take off at dawn to benefit from the best weather conditions. The landing was complicated because, in addition to climate variations, the air traffic control centres in Le Bourget and Roissy airports did not give landing authorisation to the aircraft before 21:00. André Borschberg, having spent only a few hours to fly between the two European capitals, had to wait several hours above Paris before receiving permission to land.”

2012: First intercontinental flights

“On June 13th at 8:07 (UTC+1), André Borschberg settled into the cockpit of the HB-SIA and left Rabat airport, heading for Ouarzazate. Eight hours later, as the aircraft was between Casablanca and Marrakech, strong head winds forced the flight mission to be terminated…”

2013: The Across America mission

“The pressure increases a notch for the team. Countdown now shows 45 minutes before take-off. We are fully aware that this first stage represents a new challenge: it is the first time the aircraft performs such a complex mission, in particular because the climate system of North America is extremely changing and formed by numerous microclimates.”

Altran control screen in the MCC

See how Altran guides Solar Impulse around the world

Solar Impulse 2

Watch the assembly of the round-the-world aircraft!