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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.

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

This Friday, September 5th, will live long in my memory. This evening at around 18h, after spending more than three years organizing, thinking, and supervising our engineering team as they built #Si2, I will fly it for the first time.

This maiden flight in Si2 will be a very special moment for me. One more step towards the launch of our round-the-world flight. I am delighted that Bertrand too will make his first flight in the coming days and we’ll be able to share our impressions!

When I observe the progress made since the first main-spar ...

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This maiden flight in Si2 will be a very special moment for me. One more step towards the launch of our round-the-world flight. I am delighted that Bertrand too will make his first flight in the coming days and we’ll be able to share our impressions!

When I observe the progress made since the first main-spar (the wing’s backbone) fractured during a load test in 2012, I am full of admiration for the energy displayed by the entire team: Mission Across America in 2013 with Si1; Si2 assembly; presentation in April, first flight in June, virtual flight around the world this spring ... And it's not over yet! There are still quite a few test flights to be carried out, and what’s more we still have to organize all the national government approvals needed before we can begin our journey on March 1st next year.

Come watch the take-off at around 6pm (UTC +2) at Payerne airbase, as part of AIR 14.


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