Solar Impulse secures funding to continue flight journey

Solar Impulse is attempting a historic first of flying around the world only on solar energy.

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After the latest round of sponsors, Solar Impulse has raised the $20 million it needs to finish the trip that it will resume in 2016. Solar Impulse reported on July 15 that the damaged batteries that overheated in the record-breaking oceanic flight from Nagoya to Hawaii will take several months to replace. The composites-intensive, solar-powered will stay in Hawaii until early spring 2016.

One sponsor is Covestro (Leverkusen, Germany, formerly Bayer MaterialScience), which has been a Solar Impulse project partner since 2010 and also its official technical partner. It was responsible for the design and construction of the Si2 cockpit which utilizes advanced polyurethane and polycarbonate systems.

 “Thanks to our delay in the round the world adventure, Covestro will fly with us and demonstrate its essential contribution to Solar Impulse,” said Bertrand Piccard, initiator, chairman and pilot of the Solar Impulse project. “All our partners share our vision of a cleaner future and the ongoing involvement of Patrick Thomas and the Covestro team confirms their commitment to achieving this aim.”

He adds: “I speak from personal experience when I say the cockpit Covestro designed for Si2, provided Bertrand and I with a comfortable and ambient environment to fly and work in. We are looking forward to getting back inside it for the next leg of the journey in 2016.”