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Global Compact International Yearbook

The United Nations’ Global Compact, a strategic policy initiative and practical framework meant to align businesses across the globe to ten universally ...

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The United Nations’ Global Compact, a strategic policy initiative and practical framework meant to align businesses across the globe to ten universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labor, environment and anti-corruption, believes in the power of the private sector to contribute to an improved standard of living through responsible growth. This is perfectly in line with what Solar Impulse wants to promote worldwide: clean technological solutions for sustainable and profitable economic development.

In this year’s edition of the Global Compact International Yearbook, Solar Impulse Initiator, Chairman and pilot, Bertrand Piccard published an editorial promoting Solar Impulse’s message and Clean Generation initiative, launched at the onset of the 2013 Across America mission.

Both Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg had the opportunity to talk about the project and share its message of hope and pioneering spirit to the audience at the UN Economic and Social Council this summer in New York City in the presence of the Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon.

Bertrand believes that the heart of the problem is decision makers’, politicians’ and business leaders’ lack of initiative to take a step towards change. “The problem is that each entrepreneur expects their competitors to take the first step because there is a certain risk in being the first to pioneer and invest in renewable energy,” states Bertrand. “On the other side, the governments say that it is up to the private entrepreneurs to take the first step. And so nothing – or very little – happens.”

By using the first solar airplane able to fly day and night without fuel as a symbol for what can be done, pioneers and entrepreneurs Bertrand and André are hoping to contribute to the much needed shift in people’s mindsets. After having flown across nations and continents with the first generation prototype airplane (HB-SIA), including this summer’s epic crossing of the United States from San Francisco to New York City, the adventure will lead Solar Impulse to circumnavigate the globe in 2015 with the second airplane currently under construction (HB-SIB).

It might be long until the skies are filled with solar airplanes, but the technologies that are integrated in Solar Impulse’s graceful silhouette could (and should) already be exploited on the ground for greater energy savings in the automotive and construction industries.

Meanwhile, the solar wings continue to inspire us all to make a move for change in our daily lives…

 

Back to the nest

Solar Impulse’s HB-SIA is finally back home after completing the epic crossing of the United States, from San Francisco to New York City, without a single drop of fuel. Transported by Cargolux’s Jumbo Jet, the cargo freighter landed at Dübendorf airfield early Monday morning, August 5th.

It ...

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Solar Impulse’s HB-SIA is finally back home after completing the epic crossing of the United States, from San Francisco to New York City, without a single drop of fuel. Transported by Cargolux’s Jumbo Jet, the cargo freighter landed at Dübendorf airfield early Monday morning, August 5th.

It was a challenging landing for Cargolux pilots as the runway is relatively short for such an aircraft – even shorter than the runway at the Payerne airfield – but everything went smoothly. Because of the size and weight of the aircraft, the unloading had to be done from the main runway, meaning that all the parts where then physically transported back to the hangar by the Solar Impulse team.

"The first prototype of Solar Impulse is able to fly across a continent, but not yet an ocean. This is why, after the success of the Across America mission, it’s been repatriated to Europe on board of a cargo aircraft,” said Bertrand while standing on the runway. “But the second version, the HB-SIB, will fly over the Pacific and the Atlantic oceans on its way around the world in 2015. For this, we will really have to push the use of clean technologies in their ultimate application!"

Cargolux’s Boeing 747-8 Freighter is already making progress in this direction. In fact, the Jumbo Jet shows significant improvements in fuel consumption, noise and CO2 emissions over its predecessor. Also, as a founding member of SAFUG (Sustainable Aviation Fuel User Group), Cargolux has supported the development of bio-fuels and, in this context, the company monitors with interest the development of solar-powered flight, excited to play a part in the Solar Impulse project.

“The arrival of Cargolux’s B747 in Dübendorf officially marks the conclusion of the mission across America and of HB-SIA’s operations. Despite the technical problem encountered during the last flight [Washington D.C. to New York City], the plane is repatriated in flying condition after a brilliant career nearing 500 flight hours. This might prove its engineering excellence but it especially demonstrates how reliable the integrated clean technologies are,” concluded André.

It feels strange to see HB-SIA back in Dübendorf. This particular airfield is also its birthplace and the location where it first proved it could fly. Once it was of age, the prototype solar airplane was moved to Payerne, the airfield where it continued to inspire people by crossing countries and continents beyond its original mandate, the 26-hour flight. HB-SIA will be kept in flying condition, but the spotlight will be handed to its younger brother, HB-SIB, that’s currently being built in the same hangar. This is a symbolic moment for the team, but especially for the engineers that built it: after a life full of adventure, the solar plane lands back in its nest.

Welcome home HB-SIA! 

HB-SIA soon to be repatriated

The solar airplane of Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg is currently being disassembled at New York JFK by Solar Impulse engineers and will soon be repatriated to Switzerland by Cargolux’s B747.

The Jumbo Jet is expected to land Monday morning, August 5th, at the Dübendorf airfield where the ...

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The solar airplane of Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg is currently being disassembled at New York JFK by Solar Impulse engineers and will soon be repatriated to Switzerland by Cargolux’s B747.

The Jumbo Jet is expected to land Monday morning, August 5th, at the Dübendorf airfield where the dismantled plane will be kept in flying condition.


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