Around the world with a solar airplane.

 Photo by European Parliament I flickr.com

Photo by European Parliament I flickr.com

Aviators Andre Borschberg and Bertrand Piccard have embarked on a journey to promote the world’s first solar-powered plane. It all started 10 years ago when Piccard discovered that flying around the entire globe was just not enough. In 2009, Borshberg and Piccard engineered a 1.6 ton, single-pilot plane that can fly (day or night) without the use of fossil fuels or electrical outlets. One year later, the plane successfully traveled a 26-hour commercial round-trip to and from a Swiss airfield. In the same year, it took to the skies of Switzerland, Spain and then Morocco in one impeccable flight. In May of 2013, Borschberg and Piccard will execute a series of promotional flights from San Francisco to Washington and New York.

Two years into the future, Borshberg and Piccard will demonstrate what could be one of the greatest technological performances of our time; to fly their plane, called the Solar Impulse, around the entire globe without a single pit stop. Piccard believes this achievement lays “somewhere between the Wright Brothers and Charles Lindbergh”. He reveals his craft and his plans for the 2015 global demonstration as seen on Bloomberg TV. 

Some people find it hard to believe that the future of purely sustainable aviation is at hand. As a highly decorated intellectual, Piccard is the president and initiator of the Solar Impulse project and will certainly set world records if he so pleases. To get in the know, you can read his biography here.   

In the previously mentioned Bloomberg TV report, Piccard said “Our goal is not to make a revolution in air transportation, but a revolution in the mindset toward technology.” He is rightfully using his celebrity status to endorse and encourage people to “try impossible things” and refers to these attempts as being a proper manifesto of the “pioneering spirit.”

Some individuals believe that not enough innovators in our current society are trying ‘impossible things’ to reach incredible outcomes. Piccard introduces a magnificent and sustainable alternative to aviation; something that seemed impossible during its conception 10 years ago. Imagine if all the innovators of our time were to adapt the ‘spirit of pioneering’ as did George Westinghouse with his invention of electrical circuitry, or Nicéphore Niépce, inventor of the first heliographic technique that made photography and motion picture possible.

With time, sustainability will begin to gain publicity and may eventually breed a positive revolutionary mindset towards future technological innovations.

Keep yourself posted and don’t miss the May flight!
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Hakim Elayday