Layout: Beat Leuenberger and Jürg Glauser, Berne
On the wings of renewable energy. Two Swiss scientists set themselves the goal of flying round the world. With 17,248 solar cells on board. And no kerosene. In March 2015 they took off from Abu Dhabi in Solar Impulse 2 on the first stage of their round-the-world flight. With an average speed of around 73 km/h, Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg flew via India to China across the Pacific. They had to take a break in Hawaii in winter 2015-2016 because of the weather before continuing their journey on 21 April 2016. The non-stop flight from New York over the Atlantic to Seville then took 71 hours and 8 minutes.
Solar Impulse 2 landed at its departure point in Abu Dhabi on 26 July 2016. Throughout the flight, the 2.3-tonne solar aircraft was powered solely by the sun’s energy it stored during the day and travelled 43,041 km in 17 stages. A masterful achievement!
Swiss Post Ltd
Stamps always bear their year of issue in the margin. The special “Solar Impulse” stamp shows the year 2015. This is not an error but a project-related aspect. The landing of Solar Impulse was originally planned in 2015. Swiss Post believed from the outset that the project would be a success. To ensure that the special stamp can be issued on time for the event it was printed with 2015 as the year of issue. The Solar Impulse project then had to be delayed until 2016, as did the issue of the special stamp. For environmental reasons, Swiss Post decided not to reprint the stamp.