Exploit : Solar Impulse completes first zero fuel solar energy flight around the world



On July 24, Solar Impulse took off from Cairo for the final leg on its round-the-world flight. The first aircraft powered only by solar energy arrived last evening in Abu Dhabi, where it began this amazing adventure in March 2015. This groundbreaking initiative has been supported by Moët Hennessy and LVMH.

Solar Impulse is a pioneering project led by two explorers, psychiatrist Bertrand Piccard, and engineer and entrepreneur André Borschberg. To promote clean technologies, they completed an amazing feat, flying around the world in a plane powered only by solar energy. This technological and human adventure required a dozen years of research and development before Solar Impulse lifted off on its first flight.

Taking off from Abu Dhabi in March 2015, the aircraft traveled 40,000 km in 509 hours of flight with 16 stops to complete this unprecedented world tour. During its flight over the Arabian Sea, India, Myanmar, China, the Pacific Ocean, the United States, Southern Europe and North Africa, Solar Impulse set no fewer then eight records, including the longest non-stop flight (five days and five nights) when the solar aircraft flew across the Pacific Ocean from Nagoya, Japan to Hawaii. “You can do it because you’re passionate about achieving something,” said Bertrand Piccard

The partnership which Moët Hennessy forged with Solar Impulse in 2015 enabled the LVMH Group to join the adventure in 2016 with a special mentoring program with the two pilots, Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg. Six managers selected for the program have benefited from the pilots input and support in regular correspondence and phone conversations. Several of them met their mentors face-to-face during the stopovers in New York and Seville.

They are all extremely proud to have been able to follow this adventure through their exchanges with their mentors. “André, Bertrand, Si2 and their team succeeded! I am so happy for them and proud for the challenges accomplished. To be a pilot of SI2 means to have confidence but also be opened to uncertainty, enthusiasm but also concentration, vision and strength but also humility. Sharing their experience in the LVMH mentoring program is a priceless gift and I can measure it at each meeting with André”, says Chloé Cibulka (LVMH). Anne Salutro, from Christian Dior Couture, summarizes what they all feel today: “What a fantastic journey! Congratulations to Bertrand Piccard, André Borschberg and their amazing team for this technological and human exploit. Huge admiration for them and great hope for the world of tomorrow.”

LVMH salutes this amazing achievement, which demonstrates that alternatives do exist to reduce energy consumption and save natural resources.

Bravo André, bravo Bertrand, and thank you Solar Impulse!