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12 May 2006

Omega From the moon landing to the solar flight : Omega rises to the challenge by becoming a partner of SolarImpulse

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Geneva, 12 May 2006 -

In 1969, the prestige Swiss watchmaker Omega reached a historical milestone when it equipped the first men on the moon. With the continuing pursuit of this pioneering spirit in mind, the Bienne-based company has signed a partnership agreement with SolarImpulse, the project initiated by Bertrand Piccard to circumnavigate the world in a solar-powered plane. In order to celebrate this collaboration, Omega is organising an exhibition, from 13 May to mid-June 2006, dedicated to the SolarImpulse project. It will be held in the Cité du Temps in Geneva, the exhibition conference centre recently inaugurated by the Swatch Group. One of the many exhibits on show is the first full-size model of the plane’s cockpit.

The objective of the SolarImpulse project is the development of a plane capable of flying during the day and night, powered uniquely by solar energy. This challenge, issued in 2003, is in the process of being realised. Virtual simulations and preliminary studies prove the feasibility of the project and the quality of the technological partners promises its success.

The press conference brought together Nick Hayek, CEO of the Swatch Group, Stephen Urquhart, President of Omega, Bertrand Piccard, President & future pilot of SolarImpulse and André Borschberg, CEO & future pilot of SolarImpulse, for the official announcement of this new phase in the development of the SolarImpulse project. With the Élite of European technology in aeronautics, material science, engineering and avionics already on board, it is now the turn of fine watchmaking and its precision to join the adventure.

Omega and the Swatch Group bring their unique expertise in micromechanics and microelectronics to the project, as well as their international communications network. Omega is proud to be able to contribute to this endeavour, which represents a real challenge both on a human and a technological level. In a society of continually increasing needs, it is vital to find alternative energy sources. These renewable and sustainable energy sources are of paramount importance for the future ecological needs of the planet and its inhabitants. As a responsible corporate citizen, Omega fully embraces its role as a proactive partner of SolarImpulse and its mission to promote awareness of the many applications of solar energy.

 

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