Modern and clean technologies can make the impossible possible. Pioneers Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg proved that and become the first people to circumnavigate the globe in an aircraft powered solely be the energy of the sun: the Solar Impulse 2, or Si2 for short.
The aircraft has the wingspan of a large airliner, yet only weighs as much as a compact car. Solar cells on wings spanning 72 meters power the propellers and charge a battery, which then provides power during the night. This allows the Si2 to fly without interruption and without consuming a single drop of fuel.
Advanced plastics and material solutions from Covestro make the journey possible. Because they do not only make the aircraft simultaneously extremely lightweight and strong, they also protect the pilots from extreme outside temperatures.
“Covestro presented us the best material.”
“We needed the best materials,” explain the co-founders of Solar Impulse. “They have to be as lightweight and strong as possible for us to even fly at all. And they have to offer the best possible insulating performance so that we pilots can survive the extreme temperatures. Covestro presented us the best material and has played a major part in our success.”
The intelligently deployed Covestro materials and raw materials are demonstrating their potential under extreme conditions on this mission. But they also make a healthy contribution to sustainability in everyday life by saving large amounts of energy in cars, buildings and the refrigeration chain.
The materials that make the Solar Impulse and a clean future possible are: