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First Round-The-World
Solar Flight

After the Solar Impulse prototype’s 8 world records, when it became the first solar airplane ever to fly through the night, between two continents, and across the United States, it is time for Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg to move on to the final phase of the adventure: the 2015 round-the-world flight.


What better way to demonstrate the importance of the pioneering, innovatory spirit than by achieving “impossible” things with renewable energy and highlighting new solutions for environmental problems?


The route: from the deserts of the Arabian Gulf, dodging the unrelenting Indian monsoon, flying over the Burmese temples and the great wall of China, followed by two oceans crossings (with an American “dream” break in between), all to come back around to where it all began in the Arabian Gulf. 

 

A great historic first: for such an adventure, as for any premiere, there are no references. We were, and will be, faced with a number of challenges, leading us to push the limits of technological, human and piloting performance.

Around The World: crossing oceans and continents

The Around-the-World Mission Flights will take place over 5 months from the beginning of March to the end of July 2015. A host city is currently being identified in the Gulf, which will serve as the departing and landing destination.

A Northern hemisphere, easterly route is foreseen. In order to switch the pilots, stopovers will be made in India, Myanmar, China, the USA and Southern Europe or Northern Africa. The exact cities and airport destinations will be selected based on technical and operational considerations as well as their possible involvement and support of the project and mission flights.

Host City: Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi, capital city of the United Arab Emirates, will be the start and finish of the first solar-powered flight around the world.

Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company, is the host partner of Solar Impulse. The team will be hosted by Masdar and Abu Dhabi at the start of January for testing and training before the start of the first solar-powered flight around the world.

Si2 will be delivered to Abu Dhabi by cargo plane from the Payerne aerodrome in Switzerland towards the end of the year and will be showcased during the World Future Energy Summit as part of the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, which is hosted by Masdar between 17 and 22 January 2015.

This well-matched partnership will show Abu Dhabi to be a centre of expertise when it comes to renewable energy and at the same time Solar Impulse will demonstrate the far-reaching applications of clean energy during the first solar-powered flight around the world,” declared Bertrand Piccard. André Borschberg continued: “We have chosen this location as being the best and most suitable departure point for the round-the-world tour, due to its climate, infrastructure and commitment to clean technologies.

Data: Around The World

An overview of the First Round-The-World Solar Flight, in numbers:

  • 2 pilots, Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg, flying one after the other in the single-seater cockpit
  • 1 airplane: Solar Impulse 2
  • Zero fuel on board
  • A 35,000km (22,000 miles) journey
  • 500 flying hours approx.
  • 10 legs approx., some lasting more than 5 days and nights
  • A 5-month mission (March-August 2015)
  • A 60 people support team

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