Rabat-Salé airport (Morocco), 5 June 2012, 11:30 pm - As the first Main Partner of Solar Impulse, Solvay enthusiastically congratulates Solar Impulse for performing the first intercontinental solar-powered
Solar Impulse founder and pilot Bertrand Piccard flew in 18 hours from the Madrid-Barajas airport in Spain to the Rabat-Salé airport in Morocco. Solar Impulse performed a zero fuel speed record on the distance of about 800 kilometres between Madrid and Rabat when taking into account the prototype solar plane is powered exclusively by a renewable energy source, solar energy.
Solar Impulse's prototype solar plane demonstrated once again its capability of flying during the night as the pilot had to wait for three hours after darkness before getting the permission to land.
This historic achievement and milestone was made possible thanks to Solar Impulse and its partners, which have created an exclusively solar-powered airplane the size of an Airbus, with the weight of only a midsize car and the power of a scooter.
The European Chemical Group Solvay contributed with know-how and materials for the plane structure and its energy system. In total 11 Solvay polymers and products and 6,000 parts made of Solvay specialty polymers are used in the Solar Impulse in various applications, devices and mechanical pieces of all shapes and sizes. Solvay’s polymers and chemicals are also used to increase energy saving and energy efficiency as components in Lithium-batteries (increasing their energy density) and as an ultra resistant protection film for the photovoltaic panels on the wings.