News detail

9 March 2015

Solar Impulse Plane Takes Off on Round-the-World Flight


When the Solar Impulse 2 airplane took off on Monday morning it was flying not only into an Abu Dhabi sunrise but into the future. OMEGA congratulates Bertrand Piccard, André Borschberg and the entire Solar Impulse team.

The years of preparation have paid off. At 7:12 a.m. local time, with André Borschberg at the controls, the plane took off from Abu Dhabi's Al Bateen Executive Airport. The first stop will be in Oman.

Solar Impulse 2, which has a wingspan wider than a Boeing 747, and yet it weighs about as much as a mid-sized car, is equipped with more than 17,000 solar cells and more than 1,300 pounds of batteries — a system that stores and generates enough power to keep the plane going day and night.

OMEGA is a Main Partner
OMEGA is a Main Partner in the Solar Impulse project and has not only provided capital support but also made key technological contributions.

In the early days of Solar Impulse, OMEGA developed a performance simulation and testing system for the project. Soon afterwards, the OMEGA Instrument, an easy-to-read device that displays important parameters to assist the pilot during approach and landing was invented by astronaut and Swatch Group Board Member Claude Nicollier.

In the meantime, OMEGA has also developed a landing light system which, including cables and mounts, weighs only about a kilogram and delivers an incredible "watt to weight" ratio. The brand has also been responsible for an energy dispatcher that can transfer energy from one engine to another.

It is widely known that the Omega Speedmaster was part of every lunar landing but now, the Swiss watch brand has shifted its focus from the Moon to the Sun.

A partner in mankind's greatest dreams
OMEGA is proud that through its work with Solar Impulse, it remains a partner in mankind's greatest dreams.