Solar Impulse lands in China with messages of clean energy and sustainability

Solar Impulse 2, a Swiss solar airplane which endeavors to circle the globe, touches down in Chongqing, China on Tuesday, March 31st, carrying the messages of Swiss innovation, clean energy and sustainability.

The airplane left Mandalay, Myanmar for its fifth leg of its epic circumnavigation early Monday morning with pilot Bertrand Piccard in command. The single-seater plane landed at the Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport at 1:35 am, about 20 hours later, covering 1,375 kilometers.

Mr. Jean-Jacques de Dardel, Ambassador of Switzerland to the People’s Republic of China, welcomed the plane on the apron with Mr. Ai Yang, Deputy Secretary General of Chongqing Municipal Government. Referring the venture as a “gift of Switzerland to our common future,” the ambassador spoke highly of the pioneering spirit and innovative ideas Swiss pilots and co-founders Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg have demonstrated with their team to the world since they embarked on the journey earlier this month.

“Solar Impulse 2 is the first solar airplane which attempts to fly around the world without a single drop of fuel, but with solar energy only. This is indeed a marvel in the sky,” Ambassador de Dardel said to the media. “What is also fascinating is the innovation and pioneering spirits the two great Swiss adventurers have shown during the course. Behind their adventure is the important message they are spreading out: with innovation and a clear vision, we can secure a sustainable future. That is also what Switzerland has long been committed to,” he added.

The ambassador also thanked the Chinese authorities for their support in the smooth arrival of Solar Impulse in Chongqing and its following stay in Nanjing. “We would also like to express our gratitude to the Chinese authorities. It is with their support that the airplane could arrive in China smoothly and that we can host a series of events to spread the key messages of sustainability,” said the Ambassador.

Solar Impulse 2 will then fly to Nanjing and stay at the Nanjing Lukou International Airport before the big challenge of the flight over the Pacific, a solo flight of five days and five nights in a row! During its stay in Nanjing, a series of events will be co-organized by Solar Impulse team and partners such as the Embassy of Switzerland. The Embassy will host an event with 600 young Chinese students who will be invited to meet and talk with the pilots about innovation and the pursuit of dreams.

The stay of Solar Impulse in China is celebrated in the framework of the 65th Anniversary of the bilateral relations between China and Switzerland, one of the first Western countries to recognize the People’s Republic of China in January 1950. Since then, the two countries have witnessed remarkable progress in the bilateral relations with in-depth cooperation in various fields. Solar Impulse offers a great opportunity for the two countries to deepen mutual understanding, broaden fields of cooperation, in particular in clean energy and environment protection and to inspire the young generation.

Solar Impulse 2, which kicked off its around-the-world flight on March 9 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE), is the only manned solar airplane able to fly day and night without fuel. The energy it uses is supplied by more than 17,000 solar cells built in its wings which help recharge the plane’s batteries.

Scheduled to fly over 10 countries and stop over at 13 places, the plane will continue its voyage from Nanjing to cross the Pacific to Hawaii and on to the US mainland. Flights over the Atlantic towards Southern Europe or North Africa will follow, before it returns to its departure point in Abu Dhabi in August. At its stopovers public events are organized to introduce the project to the public.

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Ambassador de Dardel’s quotes:

“Solar Impulse is in a shining way, a gift of Switzerland to our common future”

“Switzerland at its best: innovation, adventure, teamwork and openness of mind!”

 

Solar Impulse official website: www.solarimpulse.com

Official Chinese website:  http://solarimpulse.sina.com.cn/

Swiss Confederation Sina Weibo:

Embassy of Switzerland in Beijing: @瑞士驻华大使馆

Consulate of Switzerland in Shanghai: @瑞士驻上海总领事馆

swissnex China: @瑞士科技文化中心

Solar Impulse Weibo (Chinese Version Twitter):

– Solar Impulse official account: @阳光动力官博

– Bertrand Piccard: @贝特朗-皮卡尔

– André Borschberg: @安德烈-波许博格

Youku (video sharing):

http://i.youku.com/u/UMTg0NzQyMjk1Mg

Media contact

Ms. Dan Li

Media Officer, Culture and Media Section, Embassy of Switzerland in China
Tel: +86 10 8532 8741
Email: dan.li@nulleda.admin.ch

Ms. Claudia Durgnat

Head of Media Relations, Solar Impulse

Mobile : +41 79 229 81 28
Email: claudia.durgnat@nullsolarimpulse.com