Promoting Renewables with a Solar Airplane

First Test Flight of Solar Impulse 2 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

“Very often, the protection of the environment is boring and expensive, and it’s presented as a big problem that doesn’t motivate anybody. So we believe that we have to make the protection of the environment really exciting, spectacular. To show that it’s the new adventure of the 21st century.”

says the son of a family of pioneers, Bertrand Piccard. His grandfather Auguste broke records as a balloonist, his father Jacques reached unprecedented depths in the world’s oceans. Bertrand Piccard has inherited this adventurous spirit.

After flying around the world in a hot-air-balloon, Piccard’s new baby is the “Solar Impulse”, a zero-fuel airplane. Together with former Swiss army pilot André Borschberg he has embarked on a journey around the world powered only by the sun’s energy – the first of its kind.

Climate News Mosaic’s Anja Krieger spoke to Piccard and Borschberg about their motivations for this risky adventure, the environmental responsibility of the aviation industry, and what it means to them to be up in the air:

Interview transcript

Please note that we can NOT offer this interview under a CC-License, all rights remain with the author/publishers.

Recorded at Deutschlandradio Kultur, Berlin / Radio Télévision Suisse, Lausanne studios, on November 14, 2014, for Anja’s radio reports in German.

Image © Solar Impulse | Revillard | First Test Flight of Solar Impulse 2 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates