Green Cross International and Solar Impulse share the same goal of responding to the challenges of our 21st Century. Inspiring the civil society, companies and people to implement positive changes in their life is what we want to achieve together. Protection of the environment should never be boring and expensive. It should be exciting and profitable. Rather than talking about cost, fatality, difficulty to act and to federate all stakeholders, let’s talk about profitability and down-to-earth solutions.
After completing the first non stop Round-The-World Balloon Flight in 1999, I made the promise to myself that I would fly around the world again, but this time without being dependent on fossil energies. Indeed, of the 3.7 tons of liquid propane on board, only 40 kg were left on landing after 20 days of flight.
This is how the Solar Impulse programme started. Since then, together with my colleague André Borschberg, we already accomplished solar flights across Europe, the Mediterranean Sea and the United States. The ultimate goal is to realize the First Round-The-World Solar Flight in 2015. To have the energy efficiency needed, we had to build an experimental airplane with the wingspan of a 747 Jumbo Jet and the weight of a car, and develop new kind of electrical engines, batteries and carbon fiber technologies. All the specialists told us it was unachievable. This is why a project like ours inspires people and show that they can really achieve the impossible as soon as they start to think outside of the usual certitudes.
Exploration and pioneering spirit is a way to meet the challenges of our today’s society. With Solar Impulse, we want to push the existing boundaries of human and scientific innovation. If all the technologies we use on board our solar airplane were globally implemented, humankind could save already today half of its energy consumption! And this would create jobs, put on the market the clean products the world so badly needs and bring profit and growth for the industry. 10 years ago, flying day and night with a solar airplane was thought as impossible, and now we have done it! It is up to everyone to become a pioneer in his own life.
Would you imagine yourself flying during 120 hours over the Pacific Ocean, only relying on your solar cells and battery management system? This is what we want to achieve and thus, showing to young generations and students on every continent that all together we can change the world.