Mandalay, 20th March 2015 – A new page of history is being written as the Solar Impulse 2 sets off on a 35,000-kilometer journey around the world, powered only by solar energy. Schindler, a leading global elevator and escalator provider, is one of the project’s four main partners and welcomes the aircraft as it stops over at the Mandalay International Airport in Mandalay, Myanmar, on 19th March.
The Solar Impulse 2 is a single-seater aircraft made of carbon fiber, with a 72 meter wingspan - larger than that of the Boeing 747 - for a weight of just 2,300 kg. The 17,248 solar cells built into the wing supply four electric motors (17.5 CV each) with renewable energy. During the day, the solar cells recharge lithium batteries weighing 633 kg that allow the aircraft to fly at night and therefore to have virtually unlimited autonomy.
The aircraft took off from Abu Dhabi on 9th March and will stop at 12 locations. The route includes stops in Muscat, Oman; Ahmedabad and Varanasi, India; Mandalay, Myanmar; and Chongqing and Nanjing, China. After crossing the Pacific Ocean via Hawaii, Solar Impulse 2 will fly across the USA stopping in three locations – Phoenix, a location in the Midwest and New York City at JFK. After crossing the Atlantic, the final legs include a stop-over in Southern Europe or North Africa before arriving back in Abu Dhabi. With the plane traveling at a maximum speed of 90 to 140 km/h, depending on the flying altitude, the journey will take five months to complete, including 25 days of flight time.
Schindler, which has been operating in Myanmar since 1999, is proud to participate in the project. “This is a historic moment and we are delighted to be part of a team that shares the same pioneering spirit and passion for engineering excellence, with the common objective to move people safely while using less energy”, says Jujudhan Jena, Chief Executive of Jardine Schindler Group.
As demand for mobility grows and concerns about sustainability are rising, the drive towards using clean energy from renewable sources has gained traction. Schindler is no stranger to developing ecologically responsible products, having for decades not only designed solutions that preserve, regenerate or save energy, but also championed the now globally well acknowledged view that sustainability is a prerequisite for the future development of our modern cities.
Schindler has thus brought about many revolutionary technologies that have become trendsetters, including regenerative drives that feed electricity back to the grid, the traction media technology that allows the use of a smaller and more energy-efficient machine, and the award-winning PORT technology that optimizes passenger traffic throughout a building.
As a direct consequence of the intimate cooperation between Schindler’s engineers and the project team, a great deal of knowledge has been shared, developed and further refined. The company expects that many of the advances made in the field of energy conservation through this cooperation will find applications in its next generation of elevators.
Solar Impulse’s founders have welcome Schindler’s participation as an important illustration of how forward-looking companies are approaching sustainable development and seeing the industrial potential of using clean technology and renewable energy.
“Our partnership with Solar Impulse exemplifies our longstanding dedication to invest in clean technologies for sustainable mobility,” said Jujudhan Jena. “Just like those of the Solar Impulse team, the intensive efforts made by our R&D teams over the years have given birth to ground-breaking solutions that have redefined industry standards.”