Wednesday - July 15, 2015

Battery problems delay round-the-world record flight bid

Bayer MaterialScience supports Solar Impulse postponement decision

Leverkusen, July 15, 2015 – The decision by the Solar Impulse team to postpone an attempt to fly around the world in an aircraft powered only by the sun is “the right thing to do,” says Patrick Thomas, the CEO of Bayer MaterialScience, a Solar Impulse project partner and supplier of innovative materials in the aircraft.

Bayer MaterialScience supports the decision of the Solar Impulse team to suspend the bid to fly around the world in an aircraft using only solar power because of serious battery problems, the company’s CEO says.

“As a company with safe operations uppermost in our mind at all times, we understand and fully support the postponement of this inspirational record attempt,” says Patrick Thomas.

“The delay, which was announced today, is disappointing, of course, but we remain very much committed to the project and will continue to help wherever possible. It is not about the time it takes, it is about pushing boundaries, being courageous and showing that the impossible is possible,” says Thomas.

The aircraft is currently in Hawaii after a record-breaking oceanic flight from Japan, during which it sustained serious damage to its batteries through over-heating. Engineers will work on the problem while the plane is in Hawaii, from where the round-the-world mission will resume in early April next year, when the weather is stable again. From Hawaii, Solar Impulse is scheduled to fly to the US West Coast and then to New York before making the Atlantic crossing to Europe and finally returning to its original departure point in Abu Dhabi.

Bayer MaterialScience, which will soon become Covestro, has been a Solar Impulse project partner since 2010, supporting the endeavor with innovative materials, solutions and expertise. As many as 30 employees have been involved in the Solar Impulse development.

About Bayer MaterialScience:
With 2014 sales of EUR 11.7 billion, Bayer MaterialScience is among the world’s largest polymer companies. Business activities are focused on the manufacture of high-tech polymer materials and the development of innovative solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. The main segments served are the automotive, electrical and electronics, construction and the sports and leisure industries. At the end of 2014 Bayer MaterialScience had 30 production sites and employed approximately 14,200 people around the globe. Bayer MaterialScience is a Bayer Group company.

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