World’s First Solar Flight Around the World to Land in Honolulu
HONOLULU, HI, July 1, 2015 – After flying over 5,000 miles purely on solar power, Solar Impulse is set to land in Honolulu. The Round the World flight mission, led by co-founders and pilots Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg, is the first of its kind. The nonstop trip across the Pacific Ocean—never before attempted by a zero fuel airplane—began in Nagoya, Japan and will last 5 days and 5 nights.
Solar Impulse is equipped with 17,000 solar cells that absorb energy during daytime to supply power to a 2,077-pound lithium battery used during the night. The flight will mark Solar Impulse’s eighth completed leg of the 13-leg journey, putting the plane on track to circumnavigate the globe this summer—another feat no solar powered plane has successfully completed.
“We want to show that clean technology and renewable energy can achieve the unthinkable,” said Bertrand Piccard, pilot and chairman of the program. “We want youth, leaders, organizations and policymakers to understand that what Solar Impulse can achieve in the air, everyone can accomplish on the ground in their everyday lives. Renewable energy can become an integral part of our lives, and together, we can help save our planet’s natural resources.”
“The drive behind the Solar Impulse mission is to demonstrate how innovation and a pioneering spirit can change the world,” said Silvio Napoli, CEO of Schindler. “That is why Schindler is a main partner in the Solar Impulse project. We share this spirit of vision and innovation for the future. As a leading global manufacturer of elevators, escalators and moving walks, Schindler is pushing the boundaries of how people view mobility in the cities of tomorrow.”
“We are so incredibly proud to be a part of this historic mission,” said Greg Ergenbright, president, Schindler Elevator Corporation USA. “This partnership is the perfect embodiment of Schindler’s ongoing investment in innovative technology for sustainable mobility. Bertrand, André and the entire Solar Impulse team continue to inspire us in our relentless pursuit of trailblazing technology that safely moves more people with less energy.”
Schindler’s longstanding policy that every new product and component must be more eco-friendly than its predecessor has made the company a leader in energy efficient products and systems, lightweight components and energy regeneration systems, such as:
After leaving Honolulu, Solar Impulse will complete five more flight legs before reaching its starting point and final destination of Abu Dhabi.
Swiss pioneers Bertrand Piccard (President) and André Borschberg (CEO) are the founders, pilots and life force behind Solar Impulse, the first aircraft able to fly day and night without fuel or polluting emissions – the aircraft with which they are attempting the first solar flight around the world.
Supported by partners Schindler, Solvay, Omega, ABB, Google, Altran, Bayer Material Science, Swiss Re Corporate Solutions and Swisscom among others, Solar Impulse is a history-making attempt in the world of exploration and the world of renewable energies. Solar Impulse is also an airborne laboratory, making way for innovative technological solutions capable of meeting today’s challenges head on. And it is a vision which drives each one of us to become a pioneer on a day-to-day basis.
With 8 world records for the original Solar Impulse prototype, the first solar-powered aircraft to carry out a nighttime flight, the team have constructed a new single-seat aircraft made of carbon fiber.
It has a 72 meter wingspan (larger than that of the Boeing 747) for a weight of just 2,300 Kg, equivalent to that of a car. The 17,248 solar cells built into the wing supply four electric motors (17.5 CV each) with renewable energy. During the day, the solar cells recharge lithium batteries weighing 633 Kg which allow the aircraft to fly at night and therefore to have virtually unlimited autonomy.
Schindler Elevator Corporation is the North American operation of the Switzerland-based Schindler Group, a leading global mobility provider with approximately 54,000 employees operating in more than 100 countries. Schindler supports sustainable urban development with safe, reliable and ecologically sound mobility solutions and its equipment moves one billion people every day all over the world.