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Last Updated: Wednesday August 26 2009 05:12 GMT

I went on a solar-powered expedition

Louis

Press Packer Louis helped pilots reach Africa with the world's first solar-powered electric paramotor - a paraglider with a motor attached.

Here's his story.


"In my summer holidays I travelled from Barcelona in Spain to Morocco in North Africa with pilots of the first ever electric paramotor in the world.

My uncle made it and it was powered by some solar panels that were attached to the top of our van.

Daddy decided to go on the trip because it was fundraising for charity, and because it was a good opportunity for an adventure.

The trip

The solar panels powered the flying machine and they charged phones, cameras and a fridge for cold drinks in the van.

Louis cleaning the solar panels
Louis cleaning the solar panels

One day the solar panels got so dirty that they stopped charging the paramotor, so I had to climb up on the roof of the van and scrape the dirt off.

Each night we camped in a different place, mostly on the beach, but sometimes we went up into the mountains.

Waking up in the morning on top of a huge mountain was amazing because you could see miles out over the other hills and way out to the sea.

My job

We helped refuel the machines whenever they landed and also had to keep looking out for the pilots in the sky to make sure they were ok.

The paramotor above the sea
The paramotor above the sea

Once we saw one of the paramotors breaking down and we thought it had landed in the sea, but luckily it had glided in over the sea and just reached the beach.

Flying

It got really hot every day and the pilots could only fly in the mornings because the heat made the air very bumpy and dangerous to fly in.

This was quite good because it meant we could all go to the beach every afternoon and play in the sea on a jet ski that we took with us.

Everybody who went on the trip thought it was fantastic.

Being a pilot

The paramotor in the air
The paramotor in the air

I have always wanted to have a go at whipping through the air at high speeds on a paramotor, but since the trip I can't wait until I am old enough and strong enough to fly one.

I know it's not easy but one day I'd like to soar the skies in one of those incredible machines."

Louis, 12, Wiltshire, England


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