FOUNDER & PILOTS
Born in Lausanne (Switzerland) and descendant of a dynasty of explorers and scientists, who have conquered the heights and the depths of our planet, Bertrand Piccard seems predestined to perpetuate one of the greatest family adventures of the 20th century. Psychiatrist, aeronaut and internationally renowned lecturer, president of the humanitarian foundation "Winds of Hope" and goodwill ambassador for the United Nations, he aspires to combine his family scientific heritage with his commitment to exploring the great adventure of life.
"Adventure is a state of mind in the face of the unknown, a way of conceiving our existence as an experimental field, in which we have to develop our inner resources, climb up the path of our personal evolution and assimilate the ethical and moral values, which we need as our travel companions."
Pioneer of hanggliding and microlight flying in Europe, European hang-glider acrobatics champion in 1985 and winner of the first transatlantic balloon race (Chrysler Challenge 1992), Bertrand Piccard is also the initiator of the Breitling Orbiter project. His success as pilot in command of the first non-stop round the world balloon flight in 1999 has pushed him to the front of the stage as a “savanturier” (scholar-adventurer, scientist-adventurer).
Following this success, he was decorated with the Legion of Honour, the Olympic Order and the highest distinctions of the International Aeronautical Federation, the National Geographic Society and the Explorer's Club. Honorary professor and honorary doctor in science and letters, he also received the Grand Prix of l’Académie des Sciences Morales et Politiques.
Thanks to his experiences, he officially launches in 2003 the Solar Impulse project, to take on a new challenge: flying round the world in an airplane propelled uniquely by solar energy, without fuel or pollution, in order to promote the immense potential of renewable energies and their new technologies.
Bertrand Piccard is married to Michèle and has three children.