The world’s first attempt to circumnavigate the globe in a solar powered aircraft is set for take-off next week in Abu Dhabi, and NestléResearch is playing a crucial role in helping makethe mission a success.
Solar Impulse is a pioneering aircraft which can fly long distances powered only by the sun. The two Swiss pilots who will fly the plane and challenge the boundaries of sustainable flight will be sustained by food specifically researched, developed and supplied by Nestlé.
Nestlé Research has worked closely with the Solar Impulse team for over four years, developing a range of meals and snacks that can withstand extreme variations in temperature and climatic conditions, whilst providing the nutrition required. The meals are tailored to the preferences and needs of the pilots, offering them some comfort and reward on their journey.
Nestlé’s partnership with Solar Impulse is also helping to support educational activities related to sustainability, helping maximise the legacy and impact of the endeavour being undertaken by Solar pilots Bertrand Piccard, Initiator and Chairman of Solar Impulse and André Borschberg, Co-founder and CEO.
“Working with the Solar Impulse team over the last four years has been an immensely rewarding experience” said Nestlé research scientist Dr AmiraKassis “Nestlé Research has developed food that must withstand extreme conditions and provide the right levels of nutrition. Success relies on using the right packaging, ensuring the right supplies are in the right place and providing the pilots with something they can enjoy on their adventure”.
Dr Kassis will follow the plane over the coming months, managing the diet and nutrition of the pilots and ensuring that the correct amounts of food are available. The flight is expected to take around five months, consisting of multiple stop-overs in locations including China, India and the United States, spanning 35,000 kilometers and some 500 hours of actual flying time.
Commenting on the role of nutrition in helping the initiative achieve its aims, pilots Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg said: “The right food and nutrition are critical to the success of our mission, sustaining us for the long journey around the earth. We have benefited from the scientific expertise and experience of the scientists at Nestlé Research who have developed meals specially tailored for us. By working closely with the team, we also know that we’ll enjoy meal times – providing some comfort in such an extreme environment.”
Nestlé will be providing all of the meals on board in specially designed packaging. Supplies will also include Nestlé bottled water and NESCAFE coffee for the pilots.