The only airplane of perpetual endurance, able to fly day and night on solar power, without a drop of fuel.
Our challenge is to attempt the First Round-The-World Solar Flight in 2015. A way for Bertrand Piccard, André Borschberg and their team to demonstrate how pioneering spirit, innovation and clean technologies can change the world.
And you, would you like to a be a pioneer in your own life?
A family heritage of exploration and pioneering spirit. A vision born in Bertrand Piccard's mind after the success of the first non-stop round the world balloon flight. The friendship with André Borschberg, engineer and entrepreneur, who leads the technical team. The commitment of 2 men who want to move the world.
The construction of the prototype: Solar Impulse 1. The development of Solar Impulse 2, the boldest airplane of our time. The attempt to achieve the first Round-The-World Solar Flight. The incredible technological and human challenges.
Before the attempt of flying around the world in 2015 with Solar Impulse 2, the first prototype already achieved successful flight missions across Europe, Morocco, and the United States. Each landing was the opportunity to reach out to governments, NGOs, universities and schools to spread the message about clean technologies.
«With each of their great "firsts", the explorers of the last century constantly pushed back the limits of the impossible. Today, the drive to make new discoveries must go on, with the aim of improving the quality of life on our planet.»
Solar Impulse 2 has achieved its #FirstFlight on Monday, June 2nd. Don't miss the next summer flights: follow us on www.solarimpulse.com, or make sure to leave your email or follow us on social network to get updates.!
Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg were just two of the delegation that included 120 Heads of State and Government, and over 800 leaders in business, finance and civil society responding to Ban Ki-moon's invitation. The spirit of the summit resonated around the world, including a gathering of 300,000 supporters in the streets of New York.
The political momentum has gained since the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference in 2009: while previously the delegates only recognized the existence of the problem, the summit in New York saw a more positive and determined commitment to financing low-carbon development and the adoption of clean technologies. Indeed, a fund of $200bn was agreed by a coalition of global leaders.
“The only way to motivate people is to demonstrate the existence of solutions, not only to speak about the problem,” said Bertrand Piccard. “It was great to meet so many people acting to change the world,” continued André Borschberg.
The Solar Impulse founders announced Abu Dhabi as the host city, and Masdar as the host partner while standing alongside Didier Burkhalter, President of the Swiss Confederation, His Highness Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed, UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs and Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Chairman of Masdar.
Bertrand and André were pleased to be back in New York just a year after completing their flight across America with Si1, the first generation Solar Impulse airplane. Their record-breaking journey in 2013 visited the cities of San Francisco, Phoenix, Dallas, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Washington and New York. Second generation Si2 will look to make stopovers across the USA as it attempts the first Round-The-World solar flight, commencing in March 2015.
The summit was really a positive time to develop the momentum for meaningful change in developing and adopting clean technologies, of which Solar Impulse is a pioneering example. The first Round-The-World solar flight will be bracketed by the forthcoming summit in Lima, later this year, and the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris at the end of 2015.
Of course, my experience as an explorer has influenced me, and explains the questioning tone of curiosity reflected throughout the chapters. But the subject is life, communication, autohypnosis, crisis management, and spirituality, all from the angle of the different altitudes and visions of the world that give you more freedom to think and act. These may even give us the will to try new and more creative behavior in order to live better on a daily basis. I really enjoyed writing this book; sitting with a pen in front of a block of paper and being able to write down the ideas that I have been accumulating for years. My aim has been to make a practical booklet, with examples and concrete propositions to incentivize change and evolution.
You tell me whether I succeeded!
This week-end, Markus Scherdel will make the first high-altitude flight, climbing to more than 20,000 feet (6,000 meters). He will remain airborne for between 12 and 13 hours. This is a further important step forward, enabling the aircraft’s behaviour to be evaluated and studied at high altitudes, where the air starts becoming less dense. Until now, the airplane has displayed very stable characteristics, and I’m crossing my fingers that this will remain the case up there aloft!
This phase involves important challenges. Having carried out flights lasting two or three hours, we are now going to test a new area of the flight envelope for the first time: higher altitude and higher airspeed, lower air density. With such an enormous wingspan, the risk of flutter (aeroelasticity) is high. So the forthcoming flight does involve certain risks. This tenth flight will also evaluate the insulation of the cockpit, since the external temperature will drop to about
-20°C. Markus will have to fly the airplane despite experiencing more challenging conditions. Our flight testing team will be carefully monitoring the functioning of the solar generators, the oxygen system, and the Pilot Assistance System (a kind of auto-pilot) from the Mission Control Center (MCC).
«Just imagine your energy reserves increasing during flight! To make this dream a reality, we had to make maximum use of every single watt supplied by the sun, storing any surplus in our batteries.»
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the First Round-The-World Solar Flight in 2015.