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Aviation solar impulse 2013 WashingtonDC landing flat

Published on June 17th, 2013 | by Amber Archangel

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Solar Impulse Lands In DC, Solar Impulse Founders Presented Top Innovation SEIA Award

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June 17th, 2013 by
 
Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg, the founders of Solar Impulse have successfully arrived in our nation’s capital with their solar-powered airplane. The welcoming community waiting on the tarmac when they landed gave them a flag. Bertrand and André have given a Clean Generation flag to each community in which they landed that was a scheduled stopover. This banner from the Washington DC community was a lovely reciprocal greeting. Today, the two founders of this highly successful and well received solar aircraft were presented the highest award the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) presents. US Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz and Swiss Ambassador Manuel Sager were in attendance for the award ceremony. Details follow in the press release from SEIA.

solar impulse take off Cincinnati flat

Across America 2013, 4th leg Lambert St. Louis to Washington Dulles, Solar Impulse takes off from Cincinnati Lunken Airport 2013.06.15 | © Solar Impulse | Revillard | Rezo.ch

WASHINGTON, DC – In recognition of the first ever intercontinental flight by a solar-powered airplane – as well as its historic flight across the United States – the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) presented its 2013 Innovators-of-the-Year Award to Dr. Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg, co-founders and co-pilots of Solar Impulse.

The presentation was made today during a press conference at the National Air and Space Museum at Dulles Airport, which was attended by US Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz and Swiss Ambassador Manuel Sager.

Solar Impulse arrived in the nation’s capital following a highly-publicized journey across the United States. Considered the most advanced solar aircraft in the world, Solar Impulse is the first airplane ever to fly day and night without fuel or polluting emissions. With its 12,000 silicon solar cells – designed, developed and manufactured by SEIA member SunPower of San Jose, CA – Solar Impulse is also equipped with state-of-the-art batteries that store power, allowing it to fly around-the-clock – something which has never been done before. In 2015, Solar Impulse will try to become the first solar plane to fly around the world.

solar impulse 2013 WashingtonDC landing flat

Across America 2013, 4th leg Lambert St. Louis to Washington Dulle, André Borschberg and Bertrand Piccard greeting the public after Solar Impulse landing at Washington Dulles Airport 2013.06.16 | © Solar Impulse | Revillard | Rezo.ch

In presenting the 2013 Innovators-of-the-Year Award, SEIA President & CEO Rhone Resch told the winners, “Someone once said: ‘Your vocation in life is where your greatest joy meets the world’s greatest need.’ Without question, Dr. Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borshberg are living proof of that. Today, we are here to congratulate these two great adventurers in making both solar and aviation history. They are deserving winners of SEIA’s top innovation award for 2013.”

Dr. Piccard and Borschberg said they were honored to receive SEIA’s top innovation award, adding: “If we can make a solar airplane fly day and night without fuel, can you imagine how many other incredible things we could do in this world with solar energy?”

Today, solar is one of the fastest-growing industries in the United States, providing good-paying jobs for nearly 120,000 Americans at more than 5,600 companies, many of them small businesses. There is now more than 8,500 MW of cumulative solar electric capacity in the United States – enough to power 1.3 million American homes.  What’s more, in the first quarter of this year, solar accounted for 48 percent of all new electric capacity installed in the US.

About SEIA®:

Established in 1974, the Solar Energy Industries Association® is the national trade association of the US solar energy industry. Through advocacy and education, SEIA and its 1,000 member companies are building a strong solar industry to power America. As the voice of the industry, SEIA works to make solar a mainstream and significant energy source by expanding markets, removing market barriers, strengthening the industry and educating the public on the benefits of solar energy. www.seia.org

Author’s Note: Bertrand and André are thrilled to be in Washington DC with their prototype aircraft, which has exceeded their wildest expectations. From here, they will fly to New York to complete their Across America 2013 mission. André will pilot the solar plane for the last time on this final leg of their historic journey. The flight to Washington DC was Bertrand’s last flight in the cockpit of HB-SIA. Their next adventure is planned for 2015 when they launch the mission to become the first solar-powered airplane to circumnavigate the globe. We wish them well; God Speed and we’ll miss the excitement of their breathtakingly beautiful flights!

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About the Author

-- I am an artist, painter, writer, interior designer, and graphic designer, constant student of many studies and founder of 1Sun4All.com. Living with respect for the environment close at hand, the food chain, natural remedies for healing, the earth, people and animals is a life-long expression and commitment. As half of a home-building team, I helped design and build harmonious, sustainable and net-zero homes that incorporate clean air systems, passive and active solar energy as well as rainwater collection systems. Private aviation stirs a special appeal, I would love to fly in the solar airplane and install a wind turbine in my yard. I am a peace-loving, courageous soul, and I am passionate about contributing to the clean energy revolution.



  • Bryan Allen

    How can this be? The first trans-US flight in a solar-powered airplane was accomplished twenty-three years ago by Eric Raymond in “Sunseeker”; check Wikipedia under “solar-powered airplane” for the details. I hope that the false claim that this is “…the first ever intercontinental flight by a solar-powered airplane…” was not a substantial reason for the motivation of the presentation of this prize!

    Also, “Solar Challenger”, developed by Paul MacCready (the father of human-powered flight) was flown by Stephen Ptacek from France to England in a 163-mile flight – in 1981. “Solar Challenger” is presently in the permanent collection of the National Air And Space museum; ask them about it. Solar Impulse is over thirty years too late to be viewed as “innovative”; it is almost entirely derivative of aircraft that were designed and flown decades ago.

    • Conrad Clement

      Bryan,

      “…the first ever intercontinental flight by a solar-powered airplane…” refers to a former flight from Spain to Morocco — although, admittedly, this merely meant crossing the Strait of Gibraltar…

      As to the tremendous media attention, I have no doubt that Big Oil is behind it with the aim to spread the following message: “Ladies and Gentlemen, stop dreaming of your own private solar aircraft: look at the huge wing-span it would need”.

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