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Solar Impulse

Solar Impulse & Clarins.Working together for a cleaner, brighter future.

What is Solar Impulse?

After setting eight world records with the Solar Impulse prototype—including being the first solar-powered airplane to complete a night flight, an intercontinental flight and a transcontinental flight across the United States—pilots Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg have entered the ultimate phase of their adventure: a round-the-world flight that began March 9, 2015.

Solar Impulse 2 (Si2) was built specifically for this challenge. The solar-powered aircraft is a veritable high-tech laboratory. Its enormous wingspan and near-perpetual autonomy allows it to fly across oceans and continents, while staying aloft for several consecutive days and nights.

What better way to demonstrate pioneering innovation than by achieving the impossible through renewable energy, and providing new solutions to environmental issues?

Questions for the pilots:

  • Who will control takeoff?

  • Who will control landing?

  • André or Bernard?

A five-month flight. No fuel or pollution. Zero CO2 emissions.

SOLARIMPULSEThe world’s first solar-powered,
round-the-world flight.

An extraordinary human adventure.

Solar Impulse 2 is an airplane propelled exclusively by solar energy.
Its latest challenge: a trip around the world that began on March 9, 2015.
Every night, Si2 is charged with energy that it stored up during the day.
Every day, at dawn, the energy gauge slowly rises along with the sun.

Traveling around the world.

Solar Impulse 2 will fly from Abu Dhabi (the host city) and back again—passing through Muscat,
Ahmedabad, Vârânasî, Mandalay, Chongqing, Nanjing, Hawaii, Phoenix and New York. These nine stopovers will allow pilots
Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg to take turns controlling the plane. In all, they will fly for approximately 500 hours and travel
approximately 217,480 miles with a scheduled arrival sometime between mid-July and mid-August. As the journey will depend
strongly on weather conditions, it is not possible to determine a precise timeline, however you can follow the flight in real time.

  • Abu Dhabi UAE
  • MUSCAT Oman
  • Ahmedabad India
  • Varanasi India
  • Mandalay Myanmar
  • Chongqing China
  • Nanjing China
  • Hawaii USA
  • Phoenix USA
  • USA
  • New York USA
  • Southern Europe or North Africa
  • 5,070 lbs

  • Energy

  • 17,000 silicon panels

  • 134 cubic feet
    cabin space

  • 4 motors

Pioneering science reaches new heights.

  • With a wingspan of 236 feet (equal to that of a Boeing 747-800), and a total weight of just 5,070 lbs, Solar Impulse 2 is the first fully
    solar-powered airplane capable of flying without fuel, and without generating pollution.
  • 17,000 solar panels provide renewable energy for Si2’s 4 electric motors. During the day—with nearly unlimited autonomy—the solar panels recharge the lithium batteries, allowing the plane to fly at night.
  • Physical conditions are extreme for the pilots, who will take turns controlling the aircraft and will spend up to 5 days at a time in the cockpit—a confined space of about 134 cubic feet. They will have to endure temperatures ranging from -40°F to 104°F in a non-pressurized, non-heated cabin.
  • The two pilots trained for months using meditation techniques, self‑hypnosis and yoga to allow them to cope with the extreme flying conditions, and get much-needed sleep, fragmented into

Solar Impulse 2: Off to a successful start.

On Monday, March 9, 2015, Si2 took off from Abu Dhabi at 7:12 a.m. (local time) to embark on its first journey around the world. On March 12, the aircraft set its first world record—that of the longest distance traveled by a plane propelled solely by the sun. André Borshberg piloted the craft during the first leg of the global trip, which totaled 248 miles in 12 hours. Congratulations to these brave pilots whom we have proudly supported since 2008.

Bertrand Piccard, Winner of the ClarinsMen Environmental Award

Bernard Piccard comes from a long line of pioneering scientists who have conquered both sky and sea. Jacques Piccard, his father, who built the Trieste, descended 35,813 feet—nearly 7 miles—into the Mariana Trench in 1960. Auguste Piccard, his physician grandfather, invented the pressurized cabin, the stratospheric balloon and a revolutionary submarine known as the bathyscaphe. A psychiatrist, balloonist, lecturer, president of the humanitarian foundation “Winds of Hope” and a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador, Piccard combines science and adventure to tackle some of the greatest challenges of our time.

Bertrand Piccard

In 1999 he was the first to complete a nonstop balloon flight around the world. With Si2, he wishes to promote a pioneering spirit that will inspire the world to develop technologies that respect the planet’s natural resources. “Adventure in the 21st century consists of applying human creativity and the pioneering spirit to develop a quality of life which present and future generations have the right to expect.” Bertrand Piccard

Prix Clarins MenThat is why Piccard was chosen to receive the ClarinsMen Environmental Award in 2010—to encourage a quest for innovation that will benefit nature and all of humankind.

Help contribute to a clean future.

Join the #Futureisclean movement.
Join Solar Impulse and Clarins at Futureisclean.org and let your voice be heard.
Earn points with every action you take.

The Future is Clean initiative will be presented during the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21) scheduled to convene in Paris in December 2015.

Solar Impulse & Clarins: Shared Values.

Groupe Clarins has been a proud partner of this incredible human adventure since 2008.

As a company, we work to promote responsible development to make the world a better place for all people today, and for future generations. Si2’s valiant pilots work to promote clean energy for a better tomorrow.

“Exchange experiences to invent tomorrow...”

To make this project possible, Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg
have assembled a team of 90 people, including experts from a wide variety
of specialties and origins. Through an exchange of experiences,
they have arrived at unique and original solutions. This diversity,
sought at all levels, stimulates creativity and fosters strength.

“Groupe Clarins shares the values represented by Solar Impulse: research, innovation, and a respect for humankind and nature. It is a privilege and a point of pride for us to have participated in this incredible human adventure from its start, which we hold close to our hearts.”
Christian Courtin-Clarins