$20 Million Bailout …$170 Million Solar Impulse 2 Flight To Be Completed – After More Than One Year!

Once again it’s time to look at how the Solar Impulse 2 project is coming along.

Readers will recall that the Solar Impulse 2 plane was designed by a team of Europeans with the aim of making the first solar-powered “solo flight” around the world and thus show the world the endless possibilities of solar power. Unfortunately the only thing that has been “endless” is the trip itself (and the costs)!

Grounded in Hawaii

Recall that the Solar Impulse 2 plane began its journey from Abu Dhabi way back on March 9 (this year). Then some 200 days later it got stuck in Hawaii and hasn’t gone anywhere ever since due to massive technical problems, also read here and here.

So far instead of bringing attention to the technology’s potential, the project has only managed to show the glaring limitations of solar power technology. Earlier I noted that the plane needs the dimensions of a jumbo jet – just to carry the payload of a car.


The Solar Impulse 2 has run into another huge problem, it is reported: money. But that problem has been resolved, at least for now, reports the Canadian CBC. It writes that the project has “raised the $27 million ($20 million US) it needs to finish the trip, co-founder and pilot Andre Borschberg said on Monday.”

Money maelstrom project: $170 million

Moreover the CBC reports on the project’s total budget since it began in 2004: “…some $227 million ($170 million US)”. 

My God. Imagine all the other real and pressing problems that could have been alleviated with that kind of money. This is just irresponsible and the project’ backers need to be told that: chemical maker Solvay, Swiss lift maker Schindler, power grid maker ABB and Swatch’s Omega brand, to name a few. It is arguably a sin to burn away that kind of money on what is clearly a debacle while hundreds of refugees are drowning in the Mediterranean. It’s frustrating to see such misplaced priorities and funds.

It is a fact that the Solar Impulse 2 has been a greenhouse gas nightmare involving the burning of tens of thousands of liters of fossil fuels because an entire support crew has had to fly along in a fossil fuel powered jet.

One year late!

The CBC writes that the plane is planned to fly on to Phoenix, New York, Morocco before finally coming full circle back to Abu Dhabi. The team “hopes” to start again in April, 2016, when “there’s enough sun” to recharge batteries.

At this rate, they could walk around the world almost just as fast.

Route unknown – depends on the weather!

Yet, they don’t even know where they will be flying next, and that it all depends on the weather. This is how wild the project has been. The CNC writes:

Vancouver, as well as San Francisco, Los Angeles or Phoenix are all candidates, Borschberg said. They also reckon on a U.S. Midwest pit-stop followed by New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport, before crossing to either Europe or North Africa and, finally, Abu Dhabi. He hopes a year’s delay will not undermine the message he aims to spread at the Paris climate talks.”

CBC writes that Borschberg is hoping that someday this type of travel be implemented “on a large scale“.

Boy, wouldn’t that be progress. Fly from Tokyo to L.A. – in just 6 months (if you’re lucky)!

Hat-tip: Indomitable Snowman Phd


22 responses to “$20 Million Bailout …$170 Million Solar Impulse 2 Flight To Be Completed – After More Than One Year!”

  1. Ric Werme

    “He hopes a year’s delay will not undermine the message he aims to spread at the Paris climate talks.”

    Can someone tell him that COP21 will have lurched to an unsatisfying dead end long before they make it to Paris?

    Or is their budget big enough to include a Paris junket before it’s ignominious end?

    BTW, has anyone seen their budget? Where’s all that money going to? Batteries? Perhaps they could leave the solar cells behind and load up on single use lithium batteries.

    1. John Silver

      “not undermine the message he aims to spread”

      Don’t worry Mr Borschberg, we got it.
      The message is crystal clear.

  2. David Johnson

    It’s interesting but a total joke to think it could be of any commercial use, ever

    1. Stephen Richards

      The french guy who leads the team PR says we need new technologies for a better quality of life.

      Seems to imply that batteries is the way to go. Follow the money to the end of a useless technology. Like windmills and solar panels

  3. DirkH

    ““…some $227 million ($170 million US)”.
    My God. Imagine all the other real and pressing problems that could have been alleviated with that kind of money.”

    …imagine how easy it would be to divert a cool one million just by inflating costs a LITTLE bit… (But, they probably go for 50%)

    1. Graeme No.3


      Never under-estimate the ability of “greens” to waste money.

      There’s the cost of hotels for the backup crew for 3 months so far, and presumably they are wined and dined as well. Would you care to bet that they’ve been put up in some flea infested hovel miles from the beach? Or would the project want the backup crew in a good mood, so the plane didn’t develop fatal mishaps in mid air (if it ever gets there).

      I wonder that they haven’t changed course and attempted to sail through the ice free Arctic.

  4. Curious George

    Sailboats were much more reliable. Even so, there was no fixed schedule for their voyages.

    1. John F. Hultquist

      no fixed schedule
      While true, the tea clippers did serve a useful and sometimes lucrative purpose, and generated much interest, unlike the Solar not-Impressive 2.

  5. John F. Hultquist

    A decent meal can be had for about $10 in thousands of locations across the world. Cheaper if made at home; a bit more if delivered; still more with drinks and with a 20% tip. Think a nice pizza, delivered. So $20 – serves 4; thus $5 per person. Delivered in less than an hour. Your cost may vary.
    So that $170 Million could provide 34,000,000 people with a meal. Add a note saying “Global Warming is a Scam” and another saying “Remember the Golden Rule.”

  6. LukesAreWrongToo

    All climate change – yes ALL – is 100% natural and has nothing to do with carbon dioxide. It’s obvious that rising CO2 levels have not affected temperatures this century, and there is absolutely no valid physics that any of you can produce to show why climate should be affected by CO2.

    The global mean temperature varies in cycles that appear to be regulated by planetary orbits and variations in solar intensity, cosmic rays etc which probably also relate to planetary orbits. For example, the eccentricity of Earth’s orbit has a cycle of about 100,000 years which is thought to relate to the spacing of glacial periods, this being because the annual mean distance of the Sun varies over that 100,000 year cycle. There are numerous cycles, but the two dominant ones in the space of a few thousand years have periods of about 1,000 years and 60 years. Both were rising in the 30 years to 1998, but now we have slight net cooling for 30 years, and probably about 500 years of long term cooling due to start within 100 years.

    Solar intensity can also vary because of variations in cloud cover. Reflections from clouds affect the albedo by about 20%. For each 1% change (for example to 19% or 21%) there is a temperature change of about 0.9 degree. So all the climate change in the last few thousand years could have been due just to such changes in cloud cover. Clearly there are also other changes in sunspot activity, and you have to ask yourselves whether than could well explain the 1,000 year cycle. What regulates these long term cycles in sunspot activity? Well, the only things that are “regular” are planetary orbits, and it could well be that planetary magnetic fields which reach to the Sun have some effect on sunspots and possibly cosmic rays intensities which, in turn, may affect cloud formation.

    It’s ALL natural and you have no proof that it could not be.

    Until you understand that planetary surface temperatures are not established by direct radiation reaching such surfaces you have failed to pay due diligence. The explanation as to what really determines such temperatures on all planets is there to be read and studied here. It all started with an explanation by the brilliant 19th century physicist Josef Loschmidt who has now been proven right with modern day experiments which show that force fields do indeed create temperature gradients that are the state of maximum entropy.

  7. wazah

    The aircraft batteries have been overheating too and need replacing. Agree what an expensive stunt. They will end up continuing where the winds will allow them.

  8. David Appell

    Meanwhile, coal particulates pollution shorten an estimated 1,000,000 lives annually worldwide.


    But who cares, when you can make fun of an airplane? Certainly not Pierre…..

    1. DirkH

      David, I’m a bit astounded. You are worried about a million shortened lives now? So, have you come to the conclusion that the total destruction of the planet through CO2 will NOT happen?

    2. John Silver


    3. Pethefin

      For a man demanding “peer-reviewed” sources from other, the reference to Wikipedia is beyond pale. David Appell must really think that the rest of us are stupid and have never heard of the climate science related Wiki-wars.

    4. Stephen Richards

      Apple thinks we are all as stupid as his colleaques. Coal particulates were filtered out of western power stations back in he early ’60 dave. Never heard of clean coal ?

  9. Don G

    perhaps a solar powered helium balloon would have been a better choice?

  10. DirkH

    Warmunists have their own beauty contest, just elected Miss Earth in Vienna. Where the contestants do not only have to fulfill the usual criteria but also have some earth-saving credentials, in the case of the winner, Miss Ong, efforts for reforestation, which I find quite charming.


    I *am* a bit disappointed that she deviates so much from the usual Green Politician looks. Severe case of Global Hotness.

  11. Mervyn

    And what is to be accomplished from this project?

    Nothing of commercial benefit … all about propaganda to support the ‘climate change’ agenda.

    Let’s get real… the commercial aviation industry will eventually transition from ‘Jet A’ fuel powered aircraft to hydrogen fuel cell technology powered aircraft … but never to solar powered aircraft.

  12. fos

    Pierre: Picked up your good analysis and ran with it. Thanks!


    Mad Mitch

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this. More information at our Data Privacy Policy