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Passion and team spirit, the ingredients of successful projects.

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Solar Impulse, the fruit of passion and team work

Wednesday, april 7th, Solar Impulse, the first solar plane did his first flight. This plane took off from the military airport of Payenne in Switzerland. This plane, with a wingspan of an Airbus A340 (63,40 meter) and the weight of a car (1600 kilos) is propelled by four electrical engines, fed by around 12.000 photo-voltaic cells, charging lithium-polymer batteries. The plane flighted around two hours.

This event represents more than an evolution in the aerospace story, we could say that it is a revolution. Since a lot of time, the man was dreaming to fly, and it is in the year 1903 that the Wright brothers built the first glider. It was a revolution at that time to be able to make fly an aircraft. There were after a lot of steps and improvements, from transport planes to jets. Today, another step starts, with a plane using renewable energy sources.

This solar airplane represents a wonderful technological achievement. Bertrand Piccard, a swiss psychiatrist and entrepreneur, is at the origin of this project. He wanted to demonstrate that it is possible with the development of new technologies to minimize the usage of fossil energy. Solar Impulse is supposed to fly by using only solar energy. Following Bertrand Piccard, if we are able to develop this technology for an airplane, we can develop it also for other transport mode or applications.

This is a revolutionary technological achievement, but it is also an extraordinary human adventure. Bertrand Piccard and his team worked on this project during six years, on design, simulations and construction. The success of such project is only possible if two ingredients are there: passion and team spirit. To lead such project to the success is a question to gather competences and expertise, but also to gather people moved by passion. The first point is to believe in the project, to believe in such project because you have an entrepreneur mind. The entrepreneurs have always a project in advance, they are visionaries. For then, impossible is not a reality, and if there are doubts about that, they will try to see if it is really the case. In this case, we could add also an humanist dimension to this project. As said Bertrand Piccard, “With this project, we would like to send a message, to demonstrate that the renewable energies are not trivial, but they are a credible alternative contributing to the environment preservation and to economical development. During many years, ecology and economy were opposed. Today, the development of new ecological technologies presents a potential of economical growth and sustainable jobs.

During an interview after this inaugural flight, Bertrand Piccard was explaining that he had tears in one’s eyes, that he was so happy to see the fruits of his team work. We could imagine easily the satisfaction and the happiness to succeed such project. It is an evidence that such project has not been only moved by cerebral activity, but also by the hart. It is when things are coming from your hart, that you find the energy to build the different steps of your project. You are in a mood where you have not to convince yourself, because you are already convinced. You are maximizing your change to reach your goal, because you are focusing on it.

If you gather people having the same passion, who want to pursue a common goal, and who are aware that there is no personal success without team success, then you have the most important ingredients to realize your projects, to transform dreams in reality.


Written by Eric Saint-Guillain

April 14, 2010 at 20:46