The Solar Impulse plane features Covestro materials technology. Image: Solar Impulse 2015
Covestro has announced that it is extending its sponsorship with Solar Impulse, as it prepares to complete its journey round the world in 2016.
Covestro, formerly Bayer MaterialScience, has been a Solar Impulse project partner since 2010 and also its official technical partner. It was responsible for the design and construction of the Si2 cockpit, which utilises the advanced polyurethane and polycarbonate systems to significantly reduce the weight of the plane whilst ensuring ultimate protection for the pilot.
"To our employees and customers, the Solar Impulse project has become a symbol of Covestro’s innovation as well as our ability to provide a wide range of innovative solutions," explained Patrick Thomas, Covestro CEO.
Covesto also said it is backing the project as part of its ongoing commitment to sustainability.
"Sustainability sits at the heart of our business strategy," said Richard Northcote, Chief Sustainability Officer at Covestro.
“As more consumers seek energy-efficient products and governments start to implement the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals in legislation, Solar Impulse will play a huge role in showing the world how the technology that exists today can contribute to achieving what many believed was impossible."
The technology developed for Solar Impulse is already used in various everyday products in the automotive and refrigeration sectors. In addition, coatings used on the plane are now also being used in many other industrial sectors.
Andre Borschberg, Co-founder, CEO and Pilot of the Solar Impulse project, commented: "We have valued Covestro’s technical input, commitment and innovative spirit since 2010 and are looking forward to working even more closely with them over the next three years."
He added: "I speak from personal experience when I say the cockpit Covestro designed for Si2, provided… a comfortable and ambient environment to fly and work in. We are looking forward to getting back inside it for the next leg of the journey in 2016."