Solar Impulse founders Andre Borschberg and Bertrand Piccard had a bold mission: build a solar plane to demonstrate how pioneering spirit, innovation and clean technologies can change the world and to encourage people to save energy and promote the use of clean technologies globally.
Their goal? To fly around the world.
For Bertrand Piccard, the unprecedented accomplishment would demonstrate that if technological solutions exist to fly a plane day and night without fuel – which has been successfully proven — then there is potential for these same efficient technologies to be used in our daily lives, and to achieve energy savings to reduce CO2 emissions.
Piccard explains, “Adventure is not necessarily a spectacular deed, but rather an “extra-ordinary” one, meaning something that pushes us outside our normal way of thinking and behaving. Something that forces us to leave the protective shell of our certainties, within which we act and react automatically. Adventure is a state of mind in the face of the unknown, a way of conceiving our existence as an experimental field, in which we have to develop our inner resources, climb our personal path of evolution and assimilate the ethical and moral values that we need to accompany our voyage.”
And in the process, pilot André Borschberg, set some pretty amazing records.
He broke the world records of distance and duration for solar aviation, as well as the world record for the longest solo flight ever, (117 hours and 52 minutes — around 7,200 km. These world records will be ratified upon landing by the International Aeronautical Federation.
While Borschberg is still completing his flight around the world – he will fly to Phoenix for the next leg of the Round-The-World attempt before the mission continues onward to New York, Europe and Abu Dhabi where it all started – he has already attracted quite a following.
According to their Future is Clean campaign, which was initiated as a petition to convince governments around the globe to implement the necessary clean technology solutions and help ensure that the United Nations’ upcoming Conference on Climate Change (COP21) is successful in renewing the Kyoto protocol this December in Paris, “In December 2015, we will bring the voice of the Future Is Clean community to the United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP21, held in Paris. World leaders will meet to reach a global agreement on climate change. Decisions made at this conference will be the legacy of our generation and shape the future of our planet. We need strong commitment and ambitious actions for a clean future.”
For Borschberg and Piccard, the future will ride on the wings of innovation.
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