OUR STORY

In the footsteps of the great aeronautical firsts, Solar Impulse intends to achieve the First Round-The-World Solar Flight in 2015, after 12 years of research, tests and development. No fuel, but only solar energy and technologies of the future, to prove that pioneering spirit and innovation can really change the world.

EXPLORATION TO CHANGE THE WORLD

The Solar Impulse pioneers have set out to achieve something that still seems impossible today: the First Round-The-World Solar Flight, powered only by the sun, with no fuel or polluting emissions. 

Our aim: Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg do not plan to revolutionize the aviation industry but instead to demonstrate that the actual alternative energy sources and new technologies can achieve what some consider impossible. Solar Impulse wants to mobilize public enthusiasm in favor of technologies that will allow decreased dependance on fossil fuels, and induce positive emotions about renewable energies.

Solar Impulse also wants to encourage and inspire each and every one of us to become pioneers and explorers in our own lives, and to invent a brighter future.

Solar Impulse 1

AT THE CONTROLS

The Pilots: two pioneers and innovators, both pilots, came together to drive forward Solar Impulse: Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg. The former’s avant-gardist vision and skills as a communicator and the latter’s entrepreneurial experience complement each other ideally.

- Bertrand Piccard, the doctor, psychiatrist, explorer and aeronaut who made the first ever non-stop round-the-world balloon flight, is its founder and chairman. With Solar Impulse, Bertrand Piccard is continuing his family's history of adventure, from the exploration of the stratosphere (Auguste Piccard) and the ocean depths (Jacques Piccard) to his own round-the-world balloon flight. 

- André Borschberg, engineer by education and graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in management science, a trained fighter pilot and professional airplane and helicopter pilot, is the CEO.

Team and Partners: the Solar Impulse team is about 90 people, including 30 engineers, 25 technicians and 22 mission controllers, supported financially and technologically by over a hundred partners and advisers.

It's the team's flight just as much as it's mine. Held up for 3 weeks by the weather in Chongqing, we were beginning to despair of ever finding a good slot to reach Nanjing. Andre had to return to Switzerland for treatment of shingles, so I took his place in the cockpit at the last moment. ...

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It's the team's flight just as much as it's mine. Held up for 3 weeks by the weather in Chongqing, we were beginning to despair of ever finding a good slot to reach Nanjing. Andre had to return to Switzerland for treatment of shingles, so I took his place in the cockpit at the last moment.  

What an unexpected gift ! The meanders of the Yangtze, disappearing and reappearing behind each summit; wooded mountains, sculpted by sheer cliffs and deep gorges; thousands of tiny lakes reflecting the setting sun; and here and there enormous cities of several million inhabitants, whose names I've never heard before.  

And just beyond the lights of Nanjing, a triumphant welcome from the team, in proportion with their hopes and their fears of not seeing the aircraft arrive. A moment of happiness that gives me comfort at the moment when an sms arrives giving me news of the death of a person I was particularly fond of.  

You can find this story on carandache.com

Upon arrival in Nanjing, Bertrand Piccard received the Diplomas for his world record-breaking flight between Muscat (oman) to Ahmedabad (India) completing the longest distance ever flown by a solar airplane in aviation history.

On March 10, 2015, after an eleven-hour pit stop ...

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Upon arrival in Nanjing, Bertrand Piccard received the Diplomas for his world record-breaking flight between Muscat (oman) to Ahmedabad (India) completing the longest distance ever flown by a solar airplane in aviation history.

On March 10, 2015, after an eleven-hour pit stop in Muscat (Oman) made by Solar Impulse’s CEO and co-founder André Borschberg, the attempt of achieving the First Round-The-World Solar Flight continued onwards to India. Bertrand Piccard piloted Solar Impulse 2 (Si2) from Muscat to Ahmedabad (India), flying across the Arabian Sea and setting a distance world record for straight distance, pre-declared waypoints record by travelling 1,468 km during Si2’s flight. The FAI (Fédération Aéronautique Internationale) reviewed the distance record claim dossier and declared it was ratified. Diplomas were delivered by the FAI Observer Jakob Burkard to pilot Bertrand Piccard after he landed Si2 in Nanjing (China). The record of straight distance, pre-declared waypoints 1,386.5 km was previously held by André Borschberg during the Si1 Across America mission in 2013.
The landing in Ahmedabad occurred at 11:25pm local time (5:55pm GMT) after 13 hours and 20 minutes of flight, reaching an altitude of 8,534 meters with a ground speed of roughly 100 knots.


"More important to us than the world record is the fact that Solar Impulse 2 is the first solar airplane to fly in Asia. It is also an honor of being welcomed by the state of Gujarat, a visionary state which leads India in terms of solar installation”, said Piccard and Borschberg.



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