It was the impossible dream that became a reality through perseverance and refusing to take no for an answer. The story of the first aircraft to travel around the world powered only by the sun has been an incredible one, capturing the imagination of people across the world.
Now, a few short months after landing in Abu Dhabi at the culmination of their journey, Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg, the two pilots who took turns piloting their single-person aircraft, recount their extraordinary 13-year journey in a new book, Objectif Soleil.
It is at once a story of exploration and a voyage of personal discovery, as two men with wildly different but ultimately complementary personalities worked through their difficulties and found common ground to achieve a shared dream. Just as Bertrand fought to earn the trust of the engineering team so that he too could pilot the plane during the most challenging legs, André had to learn to exist in a realm outside of the technical, becoming more comfortable with the ever-increasing media interest, and gradually stepping-out from the shadows to stand with his partner.
Written from each man’s individual perspective, the book mirrors the long hours spent flying alone in extreme conditions, high above the land and oceans. It shows their friendship and rivalry, the moments of joy and of doubt, the success and the many setbacks. It is a remarkable insight into the motivation behind these two pioneering explorers whose lives came together over many years to realize a feat many thought not possible.
Currently, Objectif Soleil is only available in French, made available through Editions Stock. We hope to translate the book into English shortly. Sign-up here to stay informed on this and other Solar Impulse activities.
Blog initially published here.