Solar Impulse sets world record on its way to Ahmedabad

Bertrand Piccard is the first to fly a solar plane in Asia and set a distance world record by flying 1,468 kilometers

The second leg from Muscat to Ahmedabad represented Bertrand Piccard’s first test on the round-the-world solar flight tour. A test he managed to complete in 13 hours and 20 minutes while at the same time setting a world record: the plane traveled 1,468 kilometers, the longest ever distance for a solar powered plane flying point to point.

However, both Piccard and his co-pilot Andre Borschberg were more enamoured with the enthusiastic welcome they received upon their arrival in India, adding ‘..It is an honour of being welcomed by the state of Gujurat, a visionary state which leads India in terms of solar installation.’ Here’s a look at the warm reception they received:

Please hold

After flying in a holding pattern above Ahmedabad International airport for a couple hours, Air Traffic Control and favourable wind conditions finally allowed the Solar Impulse 2 to land at 11.25pm local time last night. A visibly tired but elated Bertrand Piccard was warmly welcomed on the runway by his co-adventurer Andre Borschberg, Linus Von Castelmur,the Swiss Ambassador to India and a government delegation from the state of Gujurat. With the second of twelve legs of the global solar flight now complete, Piccard’s 13-hour journey represents another victory for Solar Impulse and its supporters.

Tweet by @ABBgroupnews: “Better than a victory sign, this is the hospitality of Gujarat!” @bertrandpiccard & @solarimpulse land in Ahmedabad
Tweet by @ABBgroupnews: “Better than a victory sign, this is the hospitality of Gujarat!” @bertrandpiccard & @solarimpulse land in Ahmedabad

The future is clean and you can be part of it

Piccard’s message to the throng of journalists at today’s press conference was clear – India plays a key role in helping to spread the ‘future is clean’ theme of renewable energy and clean technology. Piccard added, ‘If you protect the environment with clean technologies, you create jobs, make profit for the industry, you create new markets with new technologies that the world desperately needs for a better quality of life.’ This message also underscores ABB’s mission, which is to provide ‘power and productivity for a better world’.

On behalf of ABB, Subir Pal, President of the Discrete Automation and Motion at ABB India, warmly welcomed the Solar Impulse team to India, and added, ‘The future is clean, efficient and inclusive. ABB is proud to be part of history in the making. This is not about aviation alone. The same technologies will trigger a wider spectrum of technologies that touch the lives of everyone.’ An example of this is ABB’s solar pump technology. To find out more about how this technology is crucial to improving the lives of people across the country, watch the video below…

The Solar Impulse team plans to stay four days in Ahmedabad before crossing over to Varanasi on the next leg on their round-the-world solar flight.

Related articles:

With sun power, Solar Impulse takes flight – and farmers water their fields

From desert to sea, ABB helps remote villages get ‘Access to Electricity’

After a short pit stop in Muscat, Solar Impulse flies on to India

Solar Impulse takes to the skies on the first round-the-world solar flight



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Gregory Hollings

Working every day to produce stories that highlight ABB's innovations!
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