Solar Impulse Project Displayed at Omega Pavilion

Aug 14, 2008
Fans of Omega are most probably aware that the company has partnered with the Solar Impulse project, having set a challenging goal of circumnavigating the globe in a solar-powered airplane, consuming no fuel and causing no pollution. The project, co-founded by Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg and officially announced in 2003, is to greatly contribute to the scientific and ecological development of alternative means of environmentally compatible energy to be used in future.

Omega has been providing the project with technical and capital support. The watch-making company has contributed its technological expertise for optimization of the new technologies to keep the Solar Impulse airplane flying through the night.

Acting as official timekeeper for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, Omega has displayed the Solar Impulse project at the heart of its Pavilion opened on the Olympic Green. The company has devoted the exhibition space to the solar airplane with the aim to draw the attention of the Pavilion's visitors to the project, the support of energy savings, and the use of renewable energies and innovative technologies.

To help Omega organize the exhibition, the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL), official scientific advisor of the Solar Impulse project, created some interactive and amusing demonstrators. The exhibition displays the explanatory panels narrating about the goals of the innovative project and the conducted scientific research.

The exhibition visitors are invited to discover the way photovoltaic cells work, find out about the structural materials used for the plane construction, the energy chain management, the solar panels or the batteries installed right down to the propellers, and the equipment interface, being of great importance to the airplane piloting. The exhibition also narrates about the partners and supporters of the project. Many visitors have been deeply impressed by a large scale-model of the Solar Impulse Airplane and a virtual display of the plane's controls.

Omega held a press conference devoted to the Solar Impulse project on 10 August. Bertrand Piccard, President, and Andre Borschberg, CEO, not only the co-founders but also future pilots of Solar Impulse, joined Omega president Stephen Urquhart on stage at the Pavilion. They presented to the public and members of the press the benefits of using renewable energies and reducing the humanity's dependence on fossil fuels. The ceremony also included the question and answer session in English and Chinese.

According to Stephen Urquhart, the more people are aware about the power of alternative energies, the better. Millions of visitors to the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games will find out about the Solar Impulse project and will spread the news to the whole world.

Speaking about Omega's partnership with the project, Bertrand Piccard accentuated that through out its history Omega has offered support to people who worked to benefit the environment, so the partners are perfectly suited to each other. He told the conference attendees about one of the first Omega ambassadors - the late yachtsman and explorer Sir Peter Blake. The explorer lost his life on an ecological expedition in 2002.

Following their presentation from the stage, Stephen Urquhart invited Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg on a tour of the Pavilion. Together with other Omega Pavilion 's visitors, they could see exhibits reflecting the company's long history of sports timing and its close association with the space exploration, not to mention some of Omega classic watches.


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