Solar-powered plane's Paris flight abandoned

June 12, 2011

Swiss solar-powered aircraft Solar Impulse landed in Brussels Saturday after the pilot aborted a flight to Paris following a series of technical problems, his team said.

But the team said they would be looking for a chance to try again once the weather improved.

The plane took off Saturday in for its second from Brussels for Paris but pilot Andre Borschberg turned back for the Belgian capital after a series of glitches.

Heavy rain and strong winds had already prevented it from taking off at 0230 GMT as scheduled.

The project's ground control team reported that Borschberg had had problems retracting the landing gear.

"We tried but we couldn't make it," said Raymond Clerc, the head of the mission control team, in comments posted at www.solarimpulse.com/blog/, the mission's website.

"It isn't really a surprise, more of an illustration of how challenging this particular flight is," he added.

"We made the right decision. Under no circumstances will we take a risk... We hope to have a weather window soon that is long enough for a safe flight to Paris."

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