Bertrand Piccard has surpassed aviation with this flight by adding an extra twist to this challenge of crossing the Atlantic Ocean. Just like Charles Lindbergh, Bertrand Piccard flew across the Atlantic Ocean, but didn’t choose the easiest way to get there. Himself, André Borschberg and the Solar Impulse team needed an extra challenge: to cross the Atlantic Ocean without a single drop of fuel. This is not a first for aviation, but definitely a first for clean technology.
His solar brother, André Borschberg, joined the mission engineers at the Mission Control Center in Monaco during the first half of the flight to help plan and follow the flight as closely as possible. They had a few chats over the satcom where André shared his experience from his 117 hour flight. Then he had to race off to Seville, Spain to get the ground crew operations underway, preparing for Bertrand Piccard’s landing. Michèle Piccard, Bertrand’s partner, also passed by the Mission Control Center for two days during the flight to watch the flight from up close and support Bertrand.
At 6:30AM UTC, 8:30AM CET, 2:30AM EDT on June 20th, Bertrand Piccard took off from New York City. Thanks to the meticulous work from the Mission Control Center and our weather specialists, they were able to identify a narrow window, bypassing a cold front that was situated in the middle of the Atlantic. We were lucky because it only took the mission engineers nine days to find a weather window to cross the Atlantic Ocean – a lot less time than anyone expected for the volatile Atlantic Ocean. This window opened up to a fantastic path that gave way to this flight to the beautiful Spanish city, Seville.