Pilots Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg Receive FAI Record Diplomas at Solar Impulse Film Premiere

solar-impulse-diplomaFAI President Dr John Grubbström and Secretary General Susanne Schödel presented Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg with their FAI Record Diplomas yesterday in Paris, on the occasion of the film premiere narrating the first part of the round-the-world flight of the two Swiss pilots aboard Solar Impulse 2 earlier this year.

Their historic journey started in Abu Dhabi in March 2015 and resulted in several world records ratified by the FAI (eight of them are still valid, including some achieved with Solar Impulse 1). Taking turns to fly the single-seat solar aircraft, Piccard and Borschberg travelled about 20’000km and crossed half of the Pacific ocean before reaching Hawaii in July. The last leg from Nagoya, Japan, to Hawaii, was the longest ever flight (distance and time) in an airplane without using a drop of fuel.

“FAI has always recognised the achievements of pioneers: Charles Lindbergh, Yuri Gagarin, Neil Armstrong and now Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg share the distinction of having broken FAI world records”, Dr. Grubbström commented. ”All their performances led to great leaps forward in aviation and space technology, and Solar Impulse is no exception. Indeed, by showing to the world that long solar-powered flights are possible, Piccard and Borschberg have paved the way for further progress in “clean” aviation. That is why giving them their Diplomas at an event included in the 2015 Paris Climate Conference (COP21), which will shape the future of life on Earth, was highly symbolic.”

The screening of the film “Solar Impulse, Perpetual Flight”, was organised at the Maison de l’UNESCO within the framework of COP21, under the patronage of French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development, Laurent Fabius. The event was attended by personalities including the French and Swiss Ambassadors to UNESCO.  

Bertrand Piccard, Initiatior, Chairman and pilot said: "The FAI world records broken by Solar Impulse demonstrate that renewable energies and clean technologies make it now possible to fly longer without fuel than any jet plane in history."

André Borschberg, CEO Co-founder and pilot added: “What’s extraordinary is to beat a record previously realized by a conventional jet airplane with an aircraft propelled by solar energy only. Solar Impulse, an airplane with unlimited endurance, opens the way for new energy efficient technologies in aviation.”

(Photo credit: Solar Impulse)

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