Bertrand Piccard, Initiator and Chairman of Solar Impulse Dedicates his First Flight in Abu Dhabi to Mohamed Bin Zayed

By admin Thursday, 05 March 2015 10:08 AM

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The sustainable aircraft’s final test flight in the emirate prior departure

Abu Dhabi – March 2, 2015: Bertrand Piccard, initiator and chairman of Solar Impulse, today, took to the skies of Abu Dhabi for the first time to test Solar Impulse 2, the first solar-powered aircraft able to fly day and night. Piccard’s co-founder and co-pilot Andre´ Borschberg conducted the revolutionary aircraft’s first test flight in the emirate last week soaring over the capital’s iconic landmarks. 

Upon take-off, Piccard dedicated his flight to His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

Piccard remarked, “I dedicate my first flight here in Abu Dhabi with Solar Impulse to His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Commander of the UAE Armed Forces who has supported our project since the first time I met him 10 years ago. We extend our deepest and esteemed gratitude and respects to His Highness Sheikh Mohamed and to Masdar for their support in realizing this historic flight”.

Piccard’s flight today was the last test flight ahead of Solar Impulse’s attempt to circumnavigate the world without a drop of fuel.  In the coming months, Piccard and Borschberg will take turns in the single-seater cockpit, sharing Solar Impulse’s and Masdar’s collective vision of a more sustainable future driven by innovation.

Solar Impulse has been hosted by Masdar and Abu Dhabi since January for preparations, community engagement, and test flights ahead of its 5-month round-the-world solar-powered flight attempt. Throughout the duration of their stay in the capital, Solar Impulse and Masdar inspired thousands of youth, university students, and industry professionals spanning the United Arab Emirates.
Si2 will take-off from Abu Dhabi in the coming week and return by late July or early August 2015. The route includes stops in Muscat, Oman; Ahmedabad and Varanasi, India; Mandalay, Myanmar; and Chongqing and Nanjing, China. After crossing the Pacific Ocean via Hawaii, Si2 will fly across the Continental U.S.A. stopping in three locations – Phoenix, and New York City at JFK. A location in the Midwest will be decided dependent on weather conditions. After crossing the Atlantic, the final legs include a stop-over in Southern Europe or North Africa before arriving back in Abu Dhabi.