Aditya Birla Group to Host Solar Impulse 2 in India

Top Quote This March, Solar Impulse begins an attempt to be the first solar-powered airplane to fly around the world, powered only by the sun's rays. As it crosses India, the plane, "Solar Impulse 2", will be hosted by The Aditya Birla Group. End Quote
  • (1888PressRelease) February 19, 2015 - Solar Impulse is the brainchild of pilots and founders Bertrand Piccard (Initiator and Chairman) and André Borschberg (CEO). A psychiatrist and explorer, Bertrand Piccard flew around the world in a hot-air balloon in 1999; and the design team is led by André Borschberg, seasoned flight design engineer, entrepreneur and former Swiss fighter pilot.

    "Solar Impulse is delighted to partner with the Aditya Birla Group as our values and goals of promoting sustainable development are fully aligned. Aditya Birla's pioneering spirit coupled with its commitment to adopting new and innovative energy technologies compliments perfectly well the vision of our project. As our local Indian Host Partner, we look forward to working with Aditya Birla in organizing events and activities which will inspire both business and political decision makers and future leaders of tomorrow as to the enormous economic and social potential of clean technologies" declared Solar Impulse Founders Bertrand Piccard, Initiator and Chairman, and André Borschberg, CEO.

    Says, Mr. Kumar Mangalam Birla, Chairman of the Aditya Birla Group, "The Aditya Birla Group is delighted to be the India host to Solar Impulse 2 on its groundbreaking flight around the world. Our group sustainability strategy is to integrate sustainability issues into our business strategies for the future. To do this, we endeavour to link with leading thinkers and practitioners who stoke out-of-the-box approaches to ensure that businesses get geared to meet the demands of the future. Solar Impulse fits in with our strategy. Creativity, innovation and drive are the defining features for success. Solar Impulse epitomizes these characteristics, and most importantly drives the message of synergizing growth with responsibility. This is our common philosophy which will guide us as we aspire to be the leading Indian conglomerate in sustainable business practices across our global operations".

    This revolutionary single-seater aircraft is made of carbon fiber, with the wingspan of a Boeing 747, the weight of a family car. Over 17'000 solar cells and four lithium batteries supply the electric motors with enough renewable energy to fly day and night.

    This team of leading-edge specialists includes mechanical engineers, aeronautical engineers, physicists and designers who have been working for over a decade to bring Solar Impulse from drawing board to reality. The electrical engineers have risen to the challenge of achieving the delicate balance between maximum efficiency, the lightest possible weight and extreme reliability of the plane's photovoltaic cells.

    Solar Impulse was built not just to fly around the world without a drop of fuel, but also to carry a message; demonstrating the effectiveness of clean technologies and the importance of sustainability, and showing what can be accomplished with pioneering spirit.

    The Aditya Birla Group will be the host partner for the India leg of the Solar Impulse journey, with stops planned in Ahmedabad and Varanasi and will partner with the Solar Impulse Main Sponsors Solvay, ABB, Schindler and Omega to offer ground support to the world record attempt. It is expected that millions of people will follow the flight via social media. The sponsors, like the founders, hope the flight will change history.

    Follow the Solar Impulse journey via the Aditya Birla Group Facebook page and receive live Twitter feeds via ( @ ) adityabirlagrp

    About Aditya Birla Group
    The Aditya Birla Group is an Indian multinational conglomerate operating in 36 countries with over 120,000 employees worldwide. A US$ 40 billion corporation, The Aditya Birla Group is in the league of Fortune 500. Over 50% of its revenues come from its global operations. The Group enjoys a leadership position in the sectors in which it operates, such as metals, carbon black, cement, viscose staple fibers, chemicals, insulators, telecom, branded apparels, fertilizers, financial services and retail among others. It is the largest Indian multinational with manufacturing operations in the USA. Beyond business, the Aditya Birla Group reaches out to 7 million people in 3,000 villages largely in India, South East Asia, Brazil and Egypt through its community outreach.

    About Solar Impulse
    The clean tech revolution: The zero-fuel airplane
    Swiss pioneers Bertrand Piccard (Chairman) and André Borschberg (CEO) are the founders, pilots and driving force behind Solar Impulse, the first aircraft able to fly day and night without a drop of fuel - propelled solely by the sun's energy. With the Si2 aircraft, they will attempt the first Round-The-World Solar Flight in 2015. Supported by Main Partners Solvay, Omega, Schindler, ABB, and Official Partners Google, Altran, Bayer Material Science, Swiss Re Corporate Solutions, Swisscom and Moët Hennessy, this historic first aims at demonstrating that clean technologies can achieve the impossible.

    After the original Solar Impulse Si1 prototype which holds 8 world records, Si2 engineers have designed and constructed a new single-seater aircraft made of carbon fiber. It has a 72 meter wingspan (larger than that of the Boeing 747) for a weight of just 2,300 kg, equivalent to that of a car. The 17,248 solar cells built into the wing supply electric motors (17.5 CV each) with renewable energy. The solar cells recharge four lithium batteries totaling 633 kg each, which allow the aircraft to fly at night and therefore have virtually unlimited autonomy.

    The Si2 Round-The-World flight will take-off from the Abu Dhabi (UAE), in early March and return by late July 2015. The route includes stops in Muscat, Oman; Ahmedabad and Varanasi, India; Mandalay, Myanmar; and Chongqing and Nanjing, China. After crossing the Pacific Ocean via Hawaii, Si2 will fly across the U.S.A. stopping in Phoenix, the Midwest, and New York City at JFK. After crossing the Atlantic Ocean, the final legs include a stop-over in Southern Europe or North Africa before completing the Round-The-World flight at its final destination in Abu Dhabi.

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