First solar plane made it around the world

Aboard their silent solar plane, able to fly day and night without fuel, Solar Impulse’s founders and pilots are making history with clean energy. They associated to demonstrate the potential of cleantechs: Bertrand Piccard, psychiatrist and explorer with his avant-gardist vision, and André Borschberg, engineer and entrepreneur with his managerial experience.

From inspiration to execution, they combined their skills and set off down the risky pathway of all explorers to push back the boundaries of knowledge, and attempt what many deemed impossible only a few years ago. The clean technologies in their solar plane offer hope and innovative solutions in the fields of materials and lightweight structures, as well as energy storage and efficiency, for tackling the challenges of our century.

This adventure aims at inspiring all generations and encouraging leaders of opinion to commit to a more sustainable world order.

Not the first Solar Plane

Solar Impulse is not the first solar airplane, but it is the first to fly day and night, without any fuel, only using energy stored in its batteries. It is also the first to have achieved an oceanic crossing: 5 days and nights from Nagoya, Japan, to Kalaeloa, Hawaii. Behind Solar Impulse’s achievements, there is always the same goal: show that if an airplane can fly several days and nights in a row with no fuel, then clean technologies can be used on the ground to reduce our energy consumption, and create profit and jobs.

By writing the next pages in aviation history with solar energy, and voyaging around the world without fuel or pollution, meeting the public enthusiasm, Solar Impulse is the messenger for Bertrand Piccard’s initial vision, written in 2004: « Our ambition for Solar Impulse is for the worlds of exploration and innovation to make a contribution to the cause of renewable energies. We want to demonstrate the importance of clean technologies for sustainable development; and to place dreams and emotions back at the heart of scientific adventure. The public, which gets excited about great adventures, is ready to join the dreams of pioneers and explorers. Solar Impulse wants to mobilize this enthusiasm in favor of technologies that will allow decreased dependence on fossil fuels and induce positive emotions about renewable energies. Public attention must be drawn towards the changes necessary to ensure our planet’s energy and ecological future. Also, a positive and stimulating image of environmental protection must demonstrate that the alternative energy sources, related to new technologies, can achieve what some consider impossible.

The plane’s unusual look undoubtedly helps the message of the project to be spread worldwide. The wingspan of a Boeing 747 Jumbo Jet, the weight of a family car, the power of a small motorcycle, Solar Impulse 2 is the largest aircraft ever built with such a low weight.

Source: Solar Impulse


Categories: Aviation,Solar

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