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Solar plane to make second Morocco flight bid Thursday

The planned desert flight on June 13 was abandoned due to strong winds and turbulence near the Atlas mountains (© 2009 AFP)

Solar Impulse, the solar-powered aircraft that last week was forced to abandon a bid to fly across the Moroccan desert, will make a second attempt, said a member of the project team Wednesday.

“The plane will take off again on Thursday morning from Rabat airport and will land at Ouarzazate airport around 2200 GMT,” the team member told AFP.

The Solar Impulse team has launched the Swiss-made plane — which flies without a drop of fuel — on its first inter-continental trip ahead of a planned bid to fly round the world in 2014.

The planned desert flight from the Moroccan capital to the southern town of Ouarzazate on June 13 was abandoned due to strong winds and turbulence near the Atlas mountains.

Ouarzazate is the final goal in a flight that began in Payerne in Switzerland on May 24, when Solar Impulse set out for Madrid, the first stage of the planned trip to cross the Mediterranean and fly from Europe to Africa.

The giant high-tech aircraft, which has the wingspan of a jumbo jet but weighs no more than a medium-sized car, is fitted with 12,000 solar cells feeding four electric motors driving propellers.

Signature : RABAT (AFP)

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