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rainbow
Tuesday - May 31, 2016

Materials manufacturer is partner for solar flight around the world

Covestro at Solar Impulse Mission Control Center

Plastics make the aircraft lightweight and strong, protect the pilot

Materials manufacturer Covestro visited the control center for the Solar Impulse 2 solar aircraft, which is attempting to fly around the world without fuel. The Leverkusen-based Group and project partner guided selected representatives from politics and business through the Mission Control Center in Monaco. Patrick Thomas, the company’s CEO, and Covestro engineer Bernd Rothe took the opportunity to highlight Covestro’s involvement in the Solar Impulse mission.

“I am proud that we are able to contribute to this tremendous project with our products and solutions,” said Thomas. “Solar Impulse demonstrates what can be done with clean technologies and materials available today to make the world a brighter place. That’s a perfect fit for us, and our materials are a perfect fit for Solar Impulse.”

The Si2 is expected to arrive in New York City soon, completing the crossing of the US on its unprecedented around-the-world flight powered solely by the energy of the sun.The ultra lightweight aircraft completed the first half of the distance last year.

During the day, thousands of solar cells on wings spanning 72 meters power the propellers and charge a battery, which then provides power during the night. This allows the aircraft to fly without interruption. The longest flight segment so far was from Japan to Hawaii. The Solar Impulse spent 118 hours – nearly five days – aloft and covered almost 9,000 kilometers, a majority of them over the open sea.

Lightweight cockpit of polyurethane foam

Advanced material solutions from Covestro make the mission possible, ensuring that the aircraft is extremely lightweight and strong. Covestro designed the cockpit shell, which is made of a special rigid polyurethane foam and weighs just 30 kilograms. Yet it protects the pilot from extreme outside temperatures that can range from minus 40 degrees Celsius overnight to plus 40 degrees Celsius during the day.

Rigid polyurethane foam is also used in everyday products. It enhances the efficiency of refrigeration equipment, and when used as an insulating material turns buildings into low-energy buildings.

About Covestro:
With 2015 sales of EUR 12.1 billion, Covestro 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. Covestro, formerly Bayer MaterialScience, has 30 production sites around the globe and as of the end of the first quarter 2016 employed approximately 15,700 people (full-time equivalents).

Find more information at www.covestro.com.

About Solar Impulse
Swiss pioneers Bertrand Piccard – Initiator and Chairman – and André Borschberg – CEO and Co-Founder – are the pilots and driving force behind Solar Impulse, the first airplane able to fly day and night without a drop of fuel – propelled solely by the sun’s energy. Supported by Main Partners Solvay, Omega, Schindler, ABB, Official Partners Google, Altran, Covestro, Swiss Re Corporate Solutions, Swisscom and Moët Hennessy, and Host Partners, Masdar in Abu Dhabi and Foundation Prince Albert II in Monaco, they are attempting the first Round-The-World Solar Flight with Solar Impulse 2 (Si2) – demonstrating that clean technologies can achieve the impossible.

Si2 is a concentration of clean technologies – a genuine flying laboratory. It is a single-seater aircraft made of carbon fiber that has a 72m / 236ft wingspan (larger than a Boeing 747) for a weight of 2300kg / 5100lb (the equivalent of an empty family car). The 17,248 solar cells built into the wing power the four batteries (38.5kWh per battery) that in turn power the four electric engines (13.5kW / 17.5hp each) and the propellers with renewable energy. The plane is therefore capable of saving a maximum amount of energy during the day and flying throughout the night on batteries. Si2 requireszero fuel and has virtually unlimited autonomy: theoretically, Si2 could fly forever and is only limited by the pilot’s sustainability.

For more information, connect with Solar Impulse: www.solarimpulse.com

This press release is available for download from the Covestro press server at www.covestro.com.

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A french version is available for download here

Forward-looking statements
This press release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Covestro AG. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in Covestro’s public reports which are available on the Covestro website at www.covestro.com. Covestro assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.