Today I wanted to make a tribute to this great innovation project and to all the talents who worked as a big team to succeed a big challenge you will discover.
Sources of informations in this article all taken on SOLAR IMPULSE websites and social medias
Solar Impulse has demonstrated that a solar-powered airplane can fly day and night without fuel.
The next challenge is to fly around the world.
Our aim is to prove that progress is possible using clean forms of energy.
The gigantic dimensions of this ultra-lightweight revolutionary airplane – capable of flying day and night without fuel – are its trademark feature.
To build it, the whole team had to push back the frontiers of knowledge in materials science, energy management and the man-machine interface.
Every one of its take-offs, propelled silently by its four electric motors, inspires us to consider using clean, new technologies to free our society, little by little, from dependence on fossil energy.
With each of their great « firsts », the adventurers 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.
By writing the next pages in aviation history with solar energy, and voyaging around the world without fuel or pollution, Solar Impulse’s ambition is for the world of exploration and innovation to contribute to the cause of renewable energies, to demonstrate the importance of clean technologies for sustainable development; and to place dreams and emotions back at the heart of scientific adventure.
By going beyond the question of energy, Solar Impulse would also like to encourage each and every one of us to become pioneers in our own lives, in our ways of thinking and behaving.
At the beginning of 2012, the Solar Impulse team was about 90 strong, including 30 engineers, 25 technicians and 22 mission controllers, supported financially and technologically by over a hundred partners and advisers. And yet the team could have been limited to just twenty people.
To achieve that, an aircraft manufacturer would have had to accept being a sub-contractor responsible for building the solar airplane after completion of the feasibility study.
But none of them believed it to be possible, so it was necessary in record time to create a production unit and assemble a technical team.
The two founders shared the work-load, with André taking responsibility for the team and the construction work, whilst Bertrand travelled the world promoting the project and searching for partners.
2012: World’s first solar-powered intercontinental flight
A thrilling year for Solar Impulse starting with a simulation of a 72-hour flight and culminating in the decoration of André Borschberg and Bertrand Piccard by King Mohammed VI after completing world’s first fully solar-powered intercontinental flight. While HB-SIA, piloted alternately by André Borschberg and Bertrand Piccard, made its way this summer from Payerne (Switzerland) to Ouarzazate (Morocco) with intermediate stops in Madrid (Spain) and Rabat (Morocco), Solar Impulse’s team of engineers continued the construction of HB-SIB, Solar Impulse’s second generation aircraft.
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