First round-the-world solar flight

The Solar Impulse aeroplane achieved 8 world records, including being the first solar airplane ever to fly through the night between two continents and across the United States. After 12 years of research, tests and development, we will soon witness the ultimate phase of the adventure: the first round-the-world solar flight.

The drivers behind the project are Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg, two pioneers, innovators and the pilots of the aeroplane. They have set out to achieve a remarkable breakthrough, namely the first round-the-world solar flight powered only by solar energy and technologies of the future, with no fuel nor polluting. Their objective is to demonstrate the immense potential of renewable energy sources and clean technologies.  In this regard, plastic composite materials played a vital role in the construction of SI2. Several polymers and plastic products are on board of the solar plane, substantially contributing to energy savings, enhanced solar cells encapsulation and weight reduction of the plane.

The Solar Impulse 2 aeroplane (SI2) will take off this March from Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates and is expected to return by late July or early August 2015. The route includes stops in Oman, India, Myanmar and China. After crossing the Pacific Ocean via Hawaii, the Solar Impulse aeroplane will fly across the United States, stopping in three locations, and the Atlantic Ocean. The final step includes a stop-over in Southern Europe or North Africa before landing back in Abu Dhabi.

Image ©Jean Revillard

Further information on

Did you know ?
  • Today some oil-based plastics are biodegradable, thereby contributing to a sustainable future! (Photo:©2001-2016 BASF SE)