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Solar Plane Founders — Reddit Ask Me Anything May 31 1:00PM ET

Reddit’s hosting an “Ask Me Anything” with the pilots of Solar Impulse on Friday, May 31, at 1:00pm ET / 10:00am PT / 19:00 CET

André Borschberg, new absolute world distance record holder in solar aviation, and Bertrand Piccard, initiator and chairman of Solar Impulse, are both pilots of the well-traveled zero-fuel solar-powered airplane. They will answer questions from redditors (very easy to sign up) for 1 hour tomorrow! (Today if you happen to be reading this on Friday.)

How long will they prepare for the flight around the world, and what are the preparations? Will they have auto-pilot in the new plane? How do they stay awake for the duration of the long flights and be alert enough to make the complicated landings like the one in Dallas-Fort Worth? These are all questions I want to know the answers to. I’m certain you have your own questions. This is an amazing opportunity to get these answers directly from the pilots of the 100% solar-powered plane.

solar impulse crossingfrontier arrivalpayerne AELaurentKaeserPS80flat2

Crossing Frontiers, Return Flight, Toulouse to Payerne, Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg after landing in Payerne, 2012.07.24 © Solar Impulse | Laurent Kaeser

André Borschberg and Bertrand Piccard, the pilots of Solar Impulse – the first 100% solar-powered plane that flies day and night without fuel – can be found here tomorrow: 

The official link to the post will be available around 12:30PM ET.

Bertrand Piccard — doctor, psychiatrist, and aeronaut — who made the first non-stop, round-the-world balloon flight, is the initiator and chairman.

André Borschberg — an engineer and graduate in management science, a fighter pilot, and a professional airplane and helicopter pilot — is the co-founder and CEO.

20120605_crossingfrontiers_flightmadrid-rabat_FredMerz_SolarImpulse. HB-SIA pilote par Bertrand Piccard a decolle aujourd'hui depuis Madrid pour Rabat. Atterrissage a l'aeroport de Rabat-Sale

Crossing frontiers, Flight to Morocco, Landing in Rabat-Salé, André Borschberg and Bertrand Piccard after the landing, 2012.06.05 © Solar Impulse | Revillard |

This is a unique opportunity to ask everything you ever wanted to know about Solar Impulse!

Also, if it’s helpful, here’s the “Across America” mission the Solar Impulse is currently in the midst of at a glance:

  • Early May 2013: First leg San Francisco/Moffett Airfield – Phoenix/Sky Harbor
  • Mid May 2013: Second leg Phoenix/Sky Harbor – Dallas/Fort Worth
  • End May – Early June 2013: Third leg Dallas/Fort Worth – St. Louis/Lambert Airport
  • Early to Mid-June 2013: Fourth leg St. Louis/Lambert Airport – Washington DC/Dulles
  • Early July 2013: Fifth and last leg Washington DC/Dulles – New York/JFK

One more thing I’m curious to ask about is the landing at Dallas-Fort Worth. It was a first for this airplane — André slipped the plane in sideways (always thrilling) because he was flying at zero groundspeed, due to 30 knot crosswinds. Pretty cool.

See you at the Reddit Ask Me Anything tomorrow!

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-- I am an artist, painter, writer, interior designer, graphic designer, and constant student of many studies. 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. I formerly designed and managed a clean energy website,


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