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Solar plane Solar Impulse 2 – Construction and simulation with the 3DEXPERIENCE® platform

Successful round-the-world flight without fuel

By using solar energy cleverly and pushing lightweight construction with intelligent software to its limit, it is possible to fly around the globe by plane without fuel. That has been proven by the Swiss visionary Bertrand Piccard, his partner André Borschberg and the team of Solar Impulse. After more than 40.000 kilometers Piccard reached the starting point of his travel in Abu Dhabi with the solar plane at the end of July. The CENIT subsidiary in Effretikon (Switzerland) helped the team achieving this success.

”We are working on a lot of interesting projects every day, but the collaboration with Solar Impulse is something particular. It is a visionary undertaking which opens new perspectives. We are proud to be a part of that”, said Alfonso Panichella, Managing Director of CENIT Switzerland.

For the development of the plane it was important to create a lightweight construction with optimal flight characteristics and thereby reaching the best possible configuration of weight and size. Before construction works started, all difficulties had been eliminated with the aid of the manufacturing simulation. Thus the manufacturing efforts could be kept as small as possible.

CENIT – IT specialist for engineering, construction and simulation

André Borschberg and the team decided to use the 3DEXPERIENCE® for this challenge. CENIT supervised the IT project from the implementation to the training and services. ”Thanks to the expert knowledge of CENIT for the installation and implementing the project could start without any problems”, reports the construction manager Jonas Schär.

Borschberg is convinced that the pioneer work of Solar Impulse could not have been achieved without the software: “We had to find new technologies and solutions, outside the world of aviation and then integrate them for the first time in an airplane. We had to design a completely revolutionary solar airplane from scratch. Without 3DEXPERIENCE, it simply would not have been possible”, Borschberg said.

For more information on Solar Impulse visit the blog: or

The collaboration between CENIT and solar impulse is described in a detailed project report.