World / Newsmakers

Nestlé Research refuels intrepid pilots as Solar Impulse makes stopover in China

( Updated: 2015-04-22 14:27

Scientists and food experts from Nestlé will support the pilots throughout their journey

Solar Impulse, the world's first attempt to circumnavigate the globe in a solar powered aircraft is underway andmake a stopover in Nanjing on Wednesday. Nestlé Research is providing the pilots of the plane with specially designed and personalised food, sustaining them on their mission around the world.

Solar Impulse is a pioneering aircraft which can fly long distances powered only by the sun. The two pilots are consuming a diet entirely researched, developed and supplied by Nestlé providing them with the optimal nutrition.The flight began in Abu Dhabi, UAE, on Monday March 9thand the plane is set to make a stopover in Nanjing.During this time, the Solar Impulse team will prepare the pilots for the next leg of their flight, including replenishing food and drink supplies according to the guidance supplied by Nestlé.

For the past four years, a core team of eight Nestlé Research experts has worked to develop a unique nutritional program to meet the individual needs of the pilots. Nestlé scientists have supplied a range of meals and snacks that can withstand extreme variations in temperature, climatic conditions and altitude, whilst providing the nutrition required. The meals are tailored to the preferences of the pilots, offering them some comfort and reward on their journey. The daily supply of up to 11 meals includes popular brands such as Nido, Nescafé and Resource.

"All of our employees in China can be proud that Nestle is part of this ground-breaking journey. Nestlé Research has developed food that resists extreme conditions and provides the right levels of nutrition, which is essential for the mission to be a success." Said Mr. John Cheung, Chairman and CEO, Nestlé in the Greater China Region "Nestlé China wishes the pilots well as they continue their journey of discovery around the world."

A dedicated Nestlé research scientistwill 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 total duration of the flight is expected to take around five months, and consists of multiple stop-overs in locations including China, India and the United States, spanning 35,000 kilometres 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."

About Solar Impulse

The clean tech revolution: The zero-fuel airplane

Swiss pioneers Bertrand Piccard (Chairman) and André Borschberg (CEO) are the founders, pilots and driving force behind Solar Impulse, the first aircraft able to fly day and night without a drop of fuel – propelled solely by the sun's energy. With the Si2 aircraft, they will attempt the first Round-The-World Solar Flight in 2015. Supported by Main Partners Solvay, Omega, Schindler, ABB, and Official Partners Google, Altran, Bayer MaterialScience, Swiss Re Corporate Solutions, Swisscom and Moët Hennessy, this historic first aims at demonstrating that clean technologies can achieve the impossible.

After the original Solar Impulse Si1 prototype which holds 8 world records, Si2 engineers have designed and constructed a new single-seater aircraft made of carbon fiber. It has a 72 meter wingspan (larger than that of the Boeing 747) for a weight of just 2,300 kg, equivalent to that of a car. The 17,248 solar cells built into the wing supply electric motors (17.5 CV each) with renewable energy. The solar cells recharge four lithium batteries totaling 633 kg each, which allow the aircraft to fly at night and therefore have virtually unlimited autonomy.

The Si2 Round-The-World flight will take-off from the Abu Dhabi (UAE), in early March and return by late July 2015. 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, Si2 will fly across the U.S.A. stopping in Phoenix, the Midwest, and New York City at JFK. After crossing the Atlantic Ocean, the final legs include a stop-over in Southern Europe or North Africa before completing the Round-The-World flight at its final destination in Abu Dhabi.

Nestlé Research

Nestlé has the largest research and development organisation of any food company in the world, with about 6,000 people involved in R&D, as well as a number of research partnerships with businesses and universities.

We have 39 Research and Development Centres, and Product Technology Centres, around the world. Nestlé Product Technology Centres develop innovative technologies and manufacturing processes that are the basis of new product development, and apply these technologies in our operations. Our R&D centres have both a global role and local role, by meeting regional needs, or providing technical expertise in specific areas, such as beverage system technology.

Trudeau visits Sina Weibo
May gets little gasp as EU extends deadline for sufficient progress in Brexit talks
Ethiopian FM urges strengthened Ethiopia-China ties
Yemen's ex-president Saleh, relatives killed by Houthis
Most Popular
Hot Topics