Nestlé Research partners with Solar Impulse

Solar impulse pilots

The food Nestlé developed for the pilots of Solar Impulse - the first ever solar-powered plane to complete a round-the-world trip - was the only ‘fuel’ on board during their epic adventure.

Although that fuel is spent, now that Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg have completed the final leg of their record-breaking trip, our journey doesn’t stop here.

We want to take the knowledge we’ve gained from designing the pilots’ specially-tailored meals and use it to help other people with specific nutritional needs.

Read the full story.

The Solar Impulse mission

In order to fly a solar powered plane around the globe, the Solar Impulse project relies on the tenacity, skill and endurance of two adventurers – Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg – who will pilot the aircraft on its 35,000km journey.

Taking a total of 500 hours of flying time, the challenge is an unprecedented endurance test, involving large variations in temperature and climatic conditions and the passage of long periods of time in a small, enclosed cockpit.

For the pilots, staying healthy and well-nourished is vital to mission success. It is only through the right nutritional interventions that they will successfully complete their journey, alongside the state of the art technology that has gone into building their revolutionary aircraft.

Nutritional considerations

Solar Impulse’s unprecedented mission brings with it unprecedented challenges. Food and water for a week will be carried on board, but weight is a key factor in the mission’s success.

There is only limited space on board to exercise given the very small cabin – the daily intake for the pilots is 2.4kg (5.2lbs) of food, 2.5l (84.5oz) of water, and 1l (33.8oz) of sports drink per day, during the longest legs of the flight.

The nutritional program is personalised, with a nutritionally adapted dietary plan for each pilot, aimed at coping with extreme environmental conditions. The programme is also designed to be sustainable and rewarding for the pilots.

Nestlé Research's role

Drawing on its 150 years of experience and a global network of expertise in food research and development, Nestlé is uniquely placed to support the Solar Impulse project.

Nestlé is committed to investment in research and development that helps to discover breakthroughs in food and nutrition that will benefit consumers and add value to society.

Constant innovation is central to the company’s success and to creating more sustainable, delicious and nutritious products for consumers to enjoy.

solar impulse infographic
Opens in a new window: infographic

Opens in a new window: Solar Impulse partnership factsheet

Get the facts and figures about our partnership

Our Flickr album on Solar Impulse food preparation

Opens in a new window: The partnership for Solar Impulse infographic

Follow the progress on the Solar Impulse website

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