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Pilots follow their impulse

By Lyu Chang | China Daily | Updated: 2015-02-23 10:11

Pilots follow their impulse

The Solar Impulse 2, piloted by Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg, undergoes a test flight in Payerne, Switzerland, on Nov 13, 2014. The aircraft is fitted with more than 17,000 solar cells. [Photo/Agencies]

It's long been said that the best way to predict the future is to create it.

This time, the future is about to be made by two Swiss pilots, who are a little bit ahead of the rest of us and not afraid to dream.

Soon, Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg, creators and co-pilots of Solar Impulse 2, the first and only solar-powered plane, will embark on their first round-the-world flight.

It is tempting to think this is just a stunt, but building their aircraft took 12 years of hard work and cost millions of dollars.

There is also the definite risk of a fatal crash.

So, why bother?

"Because it may change our lives," said Piccard, the initiator of the project. He is also a psychiatrist.

"Today's journey is just a beginning that will take us one step closer to a cleaner world. After the flight, the perception of the world will be different."

The modern explorers said that they were well aware of the difficulties they would face in carrying out their ambitious idea. At the start, few people had faith in them or were willing to invest in the project.

"But we got through all the challenges. People began to follow us, and that gave us hope," he said.

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