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Solar Impulse

Solar Impulse and Clarins: Working together in 2015 for a clean, bright 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), it is time for Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg to enter the ultimate phase of adventure: a round-the-world trip in 2015.

The Solar Impulse 2 was built especially for this challenge: it is a solar-powered airplane with a gigantic wingspan, a veritable flying high-tech laboratory. It boasts near-perpetual autonomy and is able to cross oceans and continents while flying for several consecutive days and nights.

What better way to demonstrate the importance of a pioneering and innovating spirit than achieving the impossible through renewable energy and providing new solutions to environmental issues?

Question for a champion:

  • Who is in charge of take off?

  • Who is in charge of landing?

  • André or Bertrand?

5 mois de vol sans carburant ni pollution = Aucune émission de CO2

SOLARIMPULSEThe first round-the-world flight

An extraordinary human adventure

Solar Impulse 2 is an airplane that is propelled solely by solar energy. Its latest challenge: a world tour that began on March 9, 2015.Every night, the airplane is powered by energy that it stores up during the day. Every morning at dawn, the energy gauge slowly rises along with the sun.

A journey around the world

It will travel from Abu Dhabi (the host city) and back again, passing through Muscat, Ahmedabad, Vârânasî, Mandalay, Chongqing,
Nanjing, Hawaii, Phoenix and New York. These 10 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 3,500 km for a scheduled arrival
between mid-July and mid-August. As the journey will depend strongly on weather conditions,
it is not possible to determine a precise time line. However, you can follow their flight conditions in real time.

  • Abu Dhabi UAE
  • MUSCAT Oman
  • Ahmedabad India
  • Vârânasî India
  • Mandalay Myanmar
  • Chongqing China
  • Nanjing China
  • Hawaii USA
  • Phoenix USA
  • USA
  • New York USA
  • South Europe or North Africa

André Borschberg, Christian Courtin Clarins and Bertrand Piccard:
Setting standards in responsible development!

  • 2,300 kg

  • Energy storage

  • 17,000 silicon panels

  • 3.8 cubic meter cabin

  • 4 motors

The pioneering spirits of the

  • With a wingspan of 72 meters (equal to that of a Boeing 747-800) yet with a minimal total weight of 2,300 kg, Solar Impulse 2 is the first fully solar-powered airplane that is able to fly without fuel and without generating pollution.
  • 17,000 solar panels provide renewable energy for the airplane's four electric motors. During the day, the solar panels recharge the lithium batteries that allow the plane to fly at night and have nearly unlimited autonomy.
  • Physical conditions are extreme for the pilots, who will take turn turns controlling the aircraft and will spend up to five days at a time in the cockpit of Solar Impulse, a limited space of 3.8 cubic meters. They will have to endure temperatures ranging from -40°C to +40°C in a non-pressurized and non-heated cabin.
  • The two pilots have trained for months using meditation techniques, self-hypnosis and yoga to allow them to cope with the extreme flying conditions and get needed rest through sleep fragmented into micro-sequences.

Solar Impulse 2: Off to a successful start!

On Monday, March 9th, 2015, Solar Impulse 2 took off from Abu Dhabi at 7:12 am (local time) to embark on its first journey around the world!

On March 12th, the solar-powered airplane set itsfirst world record, that of the longest distance traveled by an airplane propelled solely by the sun: André Borshberg piloted the aircraft during this first leg of the global trip, which totaled 400 km and 12 hours of flight.

Good luck to these brave pilots, whom we have proudly supported since 2008.

Bertrand Piccard, our ClarinsMen
Environmental Award winner

Bertrand Piccard comes from a long line of "savanturiers" (from "savants-aventuriers", or "scientist-adventurers") that have conquered the heights and the depths: Jacques Piccard, his father, who built the Trieste and descended 10,916 meters into the Mariana Trench in 1960, and Auguste Piccard, his physician grandfather who invented the pressurized cabin, the stratospheric balloon and a revolutionary submarine known as the bathyscaphe. Auguste Piccard was also the inspiration behind Hergé's Professor Tournesol in the Belgian comic Tintin.

Bertrand Piccard

A psychiatrist, balloonist, lecturer, the president of the humanitarian foundation "Winds of Hope" and a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador, Bertrand Piccard combines science and adventure to tackle some of the great challenges of our time. In 1999, he was the first to complete a non-stop balloon flight around the world. With Solar Impulse, he wishes to promote the pioneering spirit that will allow 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 developing a quality of life which present and future generations have a right to expect." Bertrand Piccard.

Prix Clarins Men This is why the ClarinsMen Environmental Prizewas awarded to him in 2010, to encourage this pioneering spirit and quest for innovation to benefit mankind.

Want to help work for a clean future?

Join the #Futureisclean movement.
Join Clarins & Solar Impulse at Futureisclean.org and make your voice heard!
You will earn points for each action you take.

This initiative will be presented during the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21), to take place in Paris in December 2015.

Solar Impulse & Clarins: Shared values

Clarins, a partner of Solar Impulse since 2008

The Clarins Group is proud to have been a partner of this incredible human adventure since 2008.

We work to promote Responsible Development in order to make the world a better place for all and for a long time. Our valiant pilots work to promote clean energy for a clean future.  

Thus, we share common values.

"Exchange experiences to invent tomorrow..."

To make this project possible, Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg have assembled a team of 90 people that includes the best specialists from a wide variety of origins and backgrounds. Through exchanging their experiences, they have arrived at unique and original solutions. This diversity sought at all levels stimulates their creativity and gives them their strength.
It is this belief in the human spirit and mankind's ability to invent tomorrow's solutions beyond all preconceived notions that first captivated the Clarins Group.
As our ClarinsMen Environmental Award winner of 2010, Bertrand Piccard is once again embarking on an extraordinary adventure: the first solar-powered flight around the world! Solar Impulse 2, a 5-month-long epic we can follow live together.

"In the Clarins Group, we share the values represented by Solar Impulse:
research, innovation, and the respect for mankind 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.