A second generation solar-powered aeroplane with technology from Omega has been unveiled in Switzerland in a bid to circumnavigate the globe.
Solar Impulse 2 is the second aircraft from the Solar Impulse Project, launched by Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg that aims to circumnavigate the globe in an aeroplane powered, night and day, by solar energy by 2015.
Swiss watchmaker Omega is one of the project’s main partners, providing both capital funding and technology to the ecologically minded challenge that should advance the development of sustainable energy.
Adventurer Piccard is the son of Jacques Piccard, who along with Lt Don Walsh piloted the bathyscaphe Trieste to the bottom of the Mariana Trench in 1960, and grandson of pioneering high altitude balloonist Auguste Piccard.
The Solar Impulse 2 features several improved technologies developed by Omega to make it more energy-efficient including lighter electronics, a lighter, more efficient landing light system, an upgraded lightweight version of the Omega Instrument – that displays the inclination of the aircraft – and an energy dispatcher which transfers energy from one engine to the other should the need arise.
The first test flights of the new aircraft are scheduled for May in Switzerland.