August 5 - Luxembourg headquartered Cargolux International Airlines returned the solar-powered aircraft Solar Impulse to its home in Switzerland on board a B747 freighter, after it completed a historic flight across the USA.
During February 2013 HLPFI reported that Cargolux successfully transported Solar Impulse from a Swiss military airfield in Payerne to the US westcoast (http://tinyurl.com/qxq7cej). From there, the solar powered aircraft began its 'Across America' mission from San Francisco to New York, including five stopovers en route.
The return Cargolux B747 freighter flight from New York touched down at Dübendorf, another Swiss military airfield near Zurich, with the innovative aircraft stowed on board. The B747F is the largest aircraft to ever use the airfield.
Solar Impulse is the first solar-powered aircraft able to fly day and night. It has already achieved five world records, including the record for the longest day and night solar-powered flight at 26 hours, 10 minutes and 19 seconds.
Bertrand Piccard, initiator, chairman and pilot of Solar Impulse, said regarding the project: "The first prototype of Solar Impulse is able to fly across a continent, but not yet an ocean. This is why, after the success of the 'Across America' mission, it's been repatriated to Europe on board a cargo aircraft. But the second version, the HB-SIB, will fly over the Pacific and the Atlantic oceans on its way around the world in 2015."