Solar Impulse

The World’s First Ever Round-The-World Solar-Powered Flight


Solar Impulse is a transformative attempt to make solar powered air travel a reality. First conceived in 2003 by co-founders Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg, the project has already had a successful start with transcontinental flights from Europe to North Africa, and a record-breaking flight across the whole of the United States.

The historic second stage of Solar Impulse has been announced with the first ever round-the-world flight. The flight took off from Abu Dhabi, UAE March 9, 2015. Stops along the way include Oman, India, Myanmar, China, Japan and Hawaii.

June 28, 2015, André Borschberg took off from Nagoya (Japan) and started the longest and most difficult leg of the round-the-world journey over the Pacific Ocean, before landing successfully in Hawaii, July 3, 2015, 5 days and 5 nights later. This is the absolute record of distance and duration for solar aviation.

The plane will now stay in Hawaii for important repair on the batteries, brought about by overheating. The round-the-world mission should resume in April 2016, when weather conditions allow flying over oceans, with stopovers in several cities in the United States, Southern Europe or North Africa and return to Abu Dhabi.

Solvay has been a Solar Impulse partner from the start. Since 2004, we have contributed pioneering technologies that have resulted in 13 products being used in 25 applications and 6,000 parts. These products improved the energy chain, enhanced the structure, and reduced the weight of the aircraft – crucial elements that will help to make this ambitious flight a success.

Solvay products on board Solar Impulse

We deliver unique material properties that help Solar Impulse attempt the first pilot-manned solar flight around the world.