Episode Two: The Solar Wright Brothers

By creating and manning the Solar Impulse, the world’s first solar airplane capable of flying day or night, Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg are on their way to breaking aviation records. Having successfully flown their craft across the United in the summer of 2013, the duo’s next goal is to circumnavigate the globe on the Solar Impulse in 2015.


About Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg

Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg are the masterminds behind Solar Impulse, the solar-powered plane that completed a flight across the continental US in the summer of 2013. The Swiss pilot-entrepreneurs began the project in 2003, completing their first test flights six years later. Piccard, 55, is the chairman of Solar Impulse, with the 60-year-old Borschberg serving as CEO. For each man, the project marks a culmination of years – and even generations – of work in aviation, engineering, and exploration. Piccard's grandfather, Auguste, was an inventor and balloonist, and his father, Jacques, was an undersea explorer. Bertrand followed in their footsteps in 1999, when he and Englishman Brian Jones became the first to complete a non-stop balloon flight around the world – an achievement that earned Piccard France's Légion d'Honneur, among other accolades. Borschberg, meanwhile, brings strong business acumen to Solar Impulse, though he shares his partner's passion for aviation. An engineer and graduate of the MIT Sloan School of Management, he trained as a pilot in the Swiss Air Force, flying jets, and helicopters for more than 20 years. Their passions dovetailed perfectly with Solar Impulse, making it one of the most fascinating companies on the planet. The company recently struck a partnership with Google in September, and aims to complete the world's first solar-powered flight around the globe by 2015.

See more pictures of Bertrand Piccard, André Borschberg, and other members of the Solar Impulse team as they work on the next generation of the Solar Impulse plane, the HB-SIB, which they'll fly in an attempt to circumnavigate the globe in 2015. View Gallery »

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