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family sets new solar flight record

A family of adventurers who spent their summer holiday flying around the Mediterranean - including swimming across shark infested waters - have set a new world record for the longest solar-powered flight by paramotor.

The Cardozo family, from Mere, in Wiltshire, along with a dedicated group of friends, travelled 1,242 miles from Monte Carlo to Morocco in an electric paramotor powered by the sun.

The 15-day trip, travelling through France and Spain, included a crossing above the shark-infested waters of the Straits of Gibraltar.
family sets new solar flight record
British family set new world record for longest solar-powered flight around the Med

family sets new solar flight record
Up, up and away: The Cordozo family set a new solar-powered flight record

family sets new solar flight record
Into the blue: The paramotor fliers above the Mediterranean

The team were led by Gilo Cardozo, his brothers Cosmo and Damian, along with Damian's 17-year-old daughter Tilly and five other pilots, while the rest of their families were following on the ground.

Gilo, an aviation engineer and managing director of Parajet, managed the flight technology of Bear Grylls's paramotoring expedition into the Venezuelan jungle for Channel Four's Lost World.
family sets new solar flight record

Free as a bird: The intrepid travellers hovered above the coastlines of France and Spain on their 1,242-mile journey

And in 2007 he helped Grylls to become the first man to fly a powered paraglider above Mount Everest.

The expedition's aim was to raise awareness of ataxia, a debilitating disease that affects part of the nervous system that normally controls co-ordination and balance.

Damian Cardozo and his wife Madeleine are tireless fundraisers for the charity Ataxia UK after three of their six children were diagnosed with the condition.

The solar electric flight has raised nearly £10,000 for Ataxia UK.
family sets new solar flight record

Paramotor pilot Charles Hollis was part of a team of adventurers who spent their summer holiday flying around the Mediterranean

The trip was not all plain-sailing, however, as there were a number of failed launches and emergency landings resulting in broken propellers and dented equipment, as well as a broken foot for one of the pilots, Hugo Collis.

The electric paramotor is powered by lithium polymer batteries, which are charged in rotation using 12 solar panels on top of a support vehicle.

The team took it in turns to pilot the craft, and also flew three other bioethanol-powered paramotors, covering on average 130 miles a day at a top height of 5,000 feet.

Damian Cardozo, 39, who arrived home in Wiltshire on Saturday, said most of the team are still making their way back to the UK after their van broke down in Spain.

Each day was a new adventure and what we have done is a remarkable feat," he said.

'To set out using the latest solar-power and paramotor technology and to succeed in tough conditions, while at the same time raising a lot of money for Ataxia UK is a very worthwhile and laudable achievement.

Mr and Mrs Cardozo launched The Incredible Website to publicise adventures and feats of endurance organised to raise money for the charity.
family sets new solar flight record
The family were helped by their vehicle which uses solar panels to charge the batteries that power paramotors

The idea is pretty simple, everybody who cares about a cause wants to have an effect,' said Mr Cardozo.

'A lot of people, giving just a little, adds up to a big difference.

'By showcasing the 'incredible' we hope to inspire our visitors to donate to a worthy cause and to conceive their own unique endeavours.'
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