Bertrand Piccard
Swiss aviator
Solar Impulse

Project to fly around the world in a solar aircraft

Co-pilot with Briton Brian Jones on the first non-stop flight around the world by hot-air balloon in 1999

“The proximity of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne was the key factor that convinced us to launch of the technological challenge that is Solar Impulse.”

What makes the canton of Vaud the preferred site for a technological and sustainable development project like Solar Impulse?
"The EPFL was the key factor that convinced us to launch the Solar Impulse project in the canton of Vaud, as well as the support we received from the Vaud government to carry out test flights at Payerne from the end of 2008."

What are your links with the canton of Vaud?
"When you realise that my family (Lutry) has roots in Vaud that go back 500 years, that I was born in this canton, that I studied here and still live here, you might think that I don’t like to travel. But I have to admit that I’ve been around the world several times in the meantime… yet I always come back to the same place!"

As a famous globetrotter, why did you choose to live here rather than anywhere else in the world?
"It’s impossible to live at ease in a globalized world unless you have solid local roots. And I have to confess that the sight of the Lavaux terraces that overlook Lake Geneva, set against the backdrop of the Savoy Alps, is a vision that goes with me right to the other side of the planet."