Aditya Birla Group to Host Solar Impulse 2 in India

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.

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.

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