They landed in Egypt on March 20 after a flight of 45,755 km (28,596 miles) which lasted 19 days, 21 hours and 47 minutes. It was the longest flight, in terms of distance and duration, ever achieved by man and captured seven world records.
Breitling Orbiter 3 is now in Washington's Smithsonian Air and Space museum along with Lindbergh's Spirit of St-Louis, the Wright brothers' plane and the Apollo 11 capsule.
Since the remarkable flight Piccard has been awarded the Olympic Order, the Youth and Sport Medal, honours from the World Air Sports Federation, the National Geographic Society, the Explorers Club, the American Academy of Achievement as well as numerous aeronautical and scientific societies in Europe, North America and Asia. He has also received the Légion d'Honeur, the Grand Prix of the French Academy of Moral and Political Sciences and has been appointed Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations.
Bertrand Piccard was born into a family of explorers and scientists. His grandfather Auguste Piccard, who was the first person to explore the stratosphere, also invented the bathyscaphe with which Bertrand’s father, Jacques Piccard, dived to the deepest point in the oceans.
In 2004, Bertrand Piccard announced a project for a solar-powered, long-range glider, using almost 12,000 solar cells, rechargeable lithium batteries and four electric motors, with the aim of flying round the world with no fuel to demonstrate the importance of renewable energies.
The journey which consisted of multiple flights started on March 9, 2015. Stopovers were scheduled in India, Myanmar, China, the United States and southern Europe. Piccard piloted the ninth segment of the trip from Hawaii to Moffett Field in California. Piccard and co-pilot André Borschberg completed their circumnavigation on July 26, 2016.
Bertrand Piccard has also created ‘Winds of Hope’, a humanitarian foundation destined to use the financial and media impact of the round-the-world flight to fight forgotten and neglected sufferings on earth.