Dec 092010
 

Solar Impulse

Solar Impulse founder Piccard comes from a long line of pioneers

Dr. Bertrand Piccard took the stage here at Le Web 2010 to talk about his ongoing efforts to build fuel-less planes with a modest statement, “If you don’t read the NY Times you have never heard of Solar Impulse.”

Solar Impulse founder Piccard comes from a long line of pioneers, his father led the first flight in the stratosphere in 1931. On this Piccard elaborated, “Pioneering spirit is something that everyone else says is impossible, until everyone says it was obvious.”

The idea for Solar Impulse came from a promise that Piccard made to himself that he would complete a flight “with solar power, batteries with whatever, but with no fuel.” Like any risk-taking entrepreneur, Piccard is extremely hopeful about the prospects of fuel alternatives, “We have technology today that allow us to reduce our consumption of oil by at least 50%. And it’s possible.”

The big ideas inspired by the existence of a solar plane is the most important part of the whole project Piccard emphasized. It is an ambitious to say the least endeavor to try to make the world a little less dependent on fossil energy, especially since the price of oil is currently at $88 a barrel. “New technologies are vital for the future, but much more than that. So many people are not pioneers. Relying on habits is what we have to kill.”

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