Google CEO Larry Page announced his collaboration with Solar Impulse’s Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg to fund the world’s first ever fully solar-powered flight around the world.
For nearly a decade, Switzerland based Solar Impulse and its dedicated team of men and women has been working on developing an aircraft that harnesses solar energy to fly non-stop in the day or night. One of their most recent feats in May to July 2013 was flying cross country from California to New York, on nothing but renewable solar power.
The single-seater prototype aircraft that recently flew across the USA is named the Solar Impulse HB-SIA. The HB-SIA holds a record for flying non-stop on its fuel cells for a maximum of 26 hours. Its younger brother, the HB-SIB, is set to take on a more daring feat – flying around the globe in 2015 with only about 4 to 5 stopovers.
As Google has proudly announced its partnership with Solar Impulse, fans from all nations can join in the historic circumnavigating journey via Google +, Google Earth, YouTube, and Google Glass, among others. It can be like anyone from around the world can follow the milestone and be a part of history. According to reports, Page was very impressed by Solar Impulse when he met with the team in California. This was why he decided that Google should back the project.
Interestingly enough, Solar Impulse founders Borschberg and Piccard were also the pilots of the solar-powered aircrafts. Piccard (yes, after our favorite Enterprise captain) is an aeronaut and a doctor, and he was known for the very first non-stop around the world hot air balloon flight in 1999. Borschberg was a fighter pilot, an engineer, and a management science graduate.
Via Tree Hugger