Spring 2017

Private Aviation & Premium Travel
Solar pioneer to inspire Ebace

Bertrand Piccard, chairman of the Solar Impulse project, adventurer, pioneer and the first to fly a solar-powered aircraft around the world, will motivate attendees at the Opening General Session of Ebace 2017.

“If you’re ready to be inspired for the next adventure of your career, you need to hear Bertrand Piccard,” says NBAA Director of Special Events Paige Kroner. “His talk will be a highlight of Ebace 2017.”

Piccard, along with Solar Impulse’s co-founder Andre Borschberg, and a team of engineers, technicians, mathematicians, pilots and others developed the first zero-emission electric and solar airplane capable of flying by day or night. 

The project was created to demonstrate the abilities of renewable energies and promote energy savings. Solar Impulse 1 completed its first test flight in 2009, and conducted several long-distance flights before the single-seater Solar Impulse 2 launched its round-the-world flight bid on March 9, 2015 from Abu Dhabi, with Piccard and Borschberg taking turns at the controls on each leg of the flight.

After departing from Abu Dhabi, Solar Impulse 2 traversed Asia, then completed its longest leg from Japan to Hawaii. On that leg, the aircraft’s batteries sustained substantial damage that required repair, but the flight eventually continued from Hawaii to California, across the US, over the Atlantic Ocean to Spain and back to its starting point in Abu Dhabi on July 26, 2016.

By landing back in Abu Dhabi after a total of 23 days of flight and 43,041 km travelled in a 17-leg journey, Solar Impulse 2 completed its round-the-world mission without using a drop of fuel.

A total of 19 world records were set or are still pending by the World Air Sports Federation (FAI), in particular when Borschberg accomplished flying five consecutive days and nights over the Pacific Ocean from Japan to Hawaii in the longest duration a solo airplane of any kind has ever flown and when Piccard achieved the historic first crossing of the Atlantic Ocean in a solar airplane.

“The Solar Impulse project is Piccard’s way of proving the impossible to be possible,” says Kroner. “His experiences with Solar Impulse make him an exciting and thought-provoking speaker on management, teamwork, creativity and even crisis management.”

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