Pioneers and adventurers in solar energy, they were with us:
Fred To is English and is the inventor of the first solar plane (1978). He led the project in a “race for the first solar flight”, with his sidekick David Williams, unfortunately deceased a few years ago. He gave the original model of his plane, the Solar One, to the PlanetSolar Foundation and this model is now on display in the exhibition.
Marshall MacCready is the son of Paul MacCready, the inventor of solar aircraft since the 1980s in the United States. Marshall was in 1980 the first pilot of Gossamer Penguin, first solar prototype of his father. He was then only 13 years old and was chosen as a “test pilot” because of his lightness!
Janice Brown-Sullivan was the lead pilot of Gossamer Penguin (1980) and the first pilot of Paul MacCready’s second prototype, the Solar Challenger (1981). It manages, at the controls of the Solar Challenger, at the record altitude of 4,000 m, a great first for solar aviation.
Stephen Ptacek was the pilot of the Solar Challenger for the first crossing of the English Channel by solar plane (1981). The Solar Challenger then travels 262 km between France and England, after a flight of just over 5 hours.
Josef Jenni is one of the initiators of the Tour de Sol (first edition in 1985), which is the first solar car competition in the world and took place in Switzerland. He built many solar cars that participated in the races. The Tour de Sol took place every year until the 1990s.
Pierre Scholl is a manufacturer and driver of Geneva solar cars. With his team, he has participated in many races of cars and solar boats. He especially led a real adventure in the Hoggar desert with a solar car. It was in 1987
Matthias Wegmann is a solar navigator who sailed on the rivers of Europe and the Mediterranean since the end of the 1980s. He has traveled thousands of kilometers with his various solar boats. And it also marks a first: that of the first sinking of a solar boat, since its Basilisk I sinks due to a storm off Mallorca!
Martin Vosseler, Mark Wüst and Beat von Scarpatetti
They initiated and participated in the adventure of Sun21, first crossing of the Atlantic by solar boat (2006/2007). Martin Vosseler is a doctor, and is the initiator of the Sun21 project. Mark Wüst was a pioneer in the solar boatbuilding industry in the 1990s. His shipyard MW-Line was based in Yvonand, canton Vaud. He built the Sun21 and sailed on board the transatlantic. Beat von Scarpatetti, co-founder of the project, is a historian and founder of various ecological projects. He had an early idea of an environmentally friendly trans-continental sea route as an alternative to the airway. He was also a member of the Sun21 crew.
Marcelo da Luz
Marcelo da Luz is Canadian. He traveled with a solar car in Canada and the United States and for the first time crossed the Arctic Circle with solar energy (2008/2010).
Erwan the Rouzic, Jens Langwasser, Christian Ochsenbein and Raphael Domjan
On board PlanetSolar during the first solar-powered world tour (2010/2012), the crew of PlanetSolar was almost complete during the evening (only Patrick Marchesseau, one of the two captains was missing).
Naveen Rabelli completed a trip from India to London in solar tuk-tuk (2016). This adventure has been widely publicized and the solar tuk-tuk from Naveen is now in the Swiss Museum of Transport in Lucerne.
Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg
Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg are the pilots of the first round of the world in solar airplane (2015/2016). They hold many records and have achieved, during the Solar Impulse adventure, the first crossings of the Pacific and Atlantic by solar airplane.
Anne Quéméré is a Breton sailor with whom Raphaël Domjan sailed in the Northwest Passage in 2015, in a solar kayak. She returned to Canada’s Far North in the summer of 2018 to attempt the adventure again, this time with a slightly larger solar boat. More than 800 km were traveled by solar in the coldest waters of the Globe!