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Pilots of First Solar Flight Planned to Circle the Globe Inspire YFEL Members at WFES 2015

Abu Dhabi-UAE: 20 January, 2015 – The Pilots and corporate partners of Solar Impulse, the team behind Solar Impulse 2 (Si2), the only airplane able to fly day and night on solar power without a drop of fuel, visited the pavilion of the Young Future Energy Leaders (YFEL) program at the 8th World Future Energy Summit (WFES) being held in Abu Dhabi.

Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg, Swiss co-founders and pilots of Solar Impulse, discussed their vision for a more sustainable future and offered insights into the operational aspects of the solar flight, its instrumentation and its avionics, while answering YFEL members’ queries about the upcoming flight. In less than six weeks, following test-flights and community engagement activities in Abu Dhabi, Solar Impulse, hosted by Masdar, will embark on the much anticipated first round-the-world solar flight. This five-month mission to circumnavigate the globe without fossil fuels and polluting emissions, will take off from the emirate in March and return in late July or early August, dependent on weather conditions.

Following the inspirational discussion, the team toured the YFEL stand and met with YFEL members, who introduced the pilots to their innovative projects. 

YFEL was last involved with the Solar Impulse team in October 2011, when a group of 14 YFEL members visited the hangar facility of Solar Impulse in Payerne near Geneva, Switzerland, to catch a first-hand glimpse of the world’s pioneering aircraft, Solar Impulse’s first prototype. At that time, officials at the Solar Impulse facility in Western Switzerland briefed members of YFEL on the key features and the distinctive elements that enable the plane to fly longer distances, even in darkness.

Solar Impulse’s partnership with Masdar and Abu Dhabi stems from a mutual commitment to investment in clean innovation today to ensure a more sustainable tomorrow.

Part of the Masdar Institute’s Outreach program, YFEL offers young professionals and students from the UAE and abroad an opportunity to become more engaged in finding solutions to the world’s greatest challenges – achieving energy efficiency and tackling climate change. It also aims to bring young professionals closer to government representatives, business leaders and other organizations active in the area of alternative energy and sustainability.

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