At EUROCONTROL’s Aviation Sustainability Summit Bertrand Piccard spoke about the challenge of making this pioneering adventure a reality by creating a revolutionary aircraft capable of taking energy from the sun and storing it in batteries to fire the electric engines of the Solar Impulse plane. He said:
“Airplane constructors laughed at me, saying it takes one minute to calculate that the sun will not give enough energy to have a plane fly day and night. That’s the paradigm in terms of energy today: We only speak of production and not of efficiency.”
It took the Solar Impulse team three years to master this challenge. They solved it by making the wings very wide – wider than a jumbo jet - and the aircraft lighter than a family car.