The solar plane Solar Impulse served as Covestro laboratory. Polyurethane foam made the aircraft easy, so that it could fly through the whole night with the collected solar energy.
the images went around the world: the solar impulse lands after their world tour at the airport in Abu Dhabi!. A world record, because never has without a drop of fuel so covered a distance an aircraft. The solar plane needed a little over a year for it, put a 16 stops, and several longer breaks. But he managed what many have not thought possible. On the day of the lucky last landing of Ökofliegers probably also popping the champagne corks in Leverkusen. Because Covestro (formerly Bayer MaterialScience) has role in ensuring that the ambitious project of the two adventurers Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg became reality.
The project should prove that you can cover long distance using only the power of the sun and that renewable energy future mean
Bayer MaterialScience participated already since 2010 on the development of the aircraft -. in Leverkusen, Dormagen and Uerdingen. 25 engineers developed special polyurethane foam for the wing and engine cover. They designed the pulpit of light aircraft which wide is indeed like a jumbo jet but weighs only as much as a midsize car. Only one of the pilots had place in the tiny cockpit and had to partially maintain the long day and night flights alone. Thanks 17,000 solar cells, the solar fueling pulses daytime solar energy with which they can also fly at night
“Covestro has presented us the best material and has a large proportion of our success, “said pilot Bertrand Piccard. Because the weight was from the beginning, the main problem of the aircraft. Thanks to the high-tech polymer materials of the company, the aircraft was 160 kilograms lighter. Polyurethane foam, for example, serves as an extremely lightweight insulation material which can compensate for variations in temperature between day and night still good. With this material, the aircraft skin was covered. From Covestros polycarbonate windscreen of the cockpit was made because the material is only half as heavy as glass.
“For us Solar Impulse was a flying laboratory that has provided us with valuable further insights. So are several new materials that we have provided for the aircraft, in future be found in many everyday products “, mentions Patrick Thomas, CEO of Covestro, the motives for cooperation.
Now chose Covestro, after the successful circumnavigation of the solar airplane to support a more advanced new initiative. The company is the first partner of the recently formed International Committee for clean technologies (International Committee for Clean Technology, ICCT). Borschberg and Piccard have founded the Committee to continue the legacy of their project. They want to show in the future, what is possible with modern materials and technologies. “Solar Impulse has demonstrated to the world flight without fuel, which can already make use of existing modern technologies,” said Patrick Thomas. From 2017 Covestro will therefore be represented on the board of the Solar Impulse Foundation. Thomas: “We understand this commitment as an order to self-commitment to advancing such technologies consistent with the UN goals for sustainable development and provide sustainable solutions.”