Exploration to change the world

Just started the 1st round-the-world solar flight operated by Solar Impulse.

17 Mar 2015

Exploration to change the world

Prysmian Group is Specialised Partner of the Solar Impulse project, launched some years ago by Bertrand Piccard, psychiatrist and aeronaut, who made the first non-stop round-the-world balloon flight.

Piccard and his team have designed an airplane capable of flying around the world using only solar energy, with the aim of demonstrating that it is possible to use clean forms of energy for aviation. The Group contributed to this project by supplying 150 km of special aerospace cables that distribute power around the aircraft.
Piccard has already flown his prototype day and night without fuel and now, 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 now time for Bertrand Piccard, together with the air force pilot André Borschberg, to move on to the final phase of this adventure: the 2015 round-the-world flight.

Solar Impulse 2 (SI2) is the new project of Round-The-World solar airplane. This revolutionary single-seater aircraft made of carbon fiber has a 72 meter wingspan (larger than that of the Boeing 747-8I) for a weight of just 2,300 Kg, equivalent to that of a car. The 17,000 solar cells built into the wing supply four electric motors (17.5 CV each) with renewable energy.

SI2 took-off from Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirate, on March 9th and it will return by late July or early August 2015. The route includes stops in Muscat, Oman, and Ahmedabad, India, where it already landed respectively on March 9th and 10th. Next stops will be Varanasi, India (March 17th); Mandalay, Myanmar (March 18th); and Chongqing (March 21st) and Nanjing (March 22nd), China. After crossing the Pacific Ocean via Hawaii, SI2 will fly across the Continental U.S.A. stopping in Phoenix, New York City and a Midwest location to be decided dependent on weather conditions. After crossing the Atlantic, the final legs include a stop-over in Southern Europe or North Africa before arriving back in Abu Dhabi.

“Solar Impulse is not only about a record” stated Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg, “as behind the aeronautic record lies a very powerful message we want to share with the world: existing clean technologies and pioneering spirit can change the world. Future is clean, but we cannot do it without you.”
Stay tuned for updated information about the flight!