Bertrand Piccard


Bertrand Piccard is a Swiss psychiatrist and balloonist. Along with Brian Jones, he was the first to complete a non-stop balloon flight around the globe, in a balloon named Breitling Orbiter 3. He was the initiator, chairman, and co-pilot, with André Borschberg, of Solar Impulse, the first successful round-the-world solar powered flight. During November 2003, Piccard announced a project, in cooperation with The École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, for a solar-powered, long-range aircraft named Solar Impulse. Piccard began construction during 2007, and conducted brief test flights during 2008 with André Borschberg.

By 2009, he had assembled a multi-disciplinary team of fifty specialists from six countries, assisted by approximately one hundred outside advisers. The project is financed by a number of private companies and individuals in Europe. The first company to fund the project officially was Semper, after Eric Freymond was convinced of the future success of the media-savvy Bertrand Piccard. Owing to international funding for the project, the Solar Impulse is a European craft, not a Swiss one, despite scientific and medical assistance from the EPFL and Hirslanden Clinique Cecil.

During 2010, Solar Impulse 1 made its first nighttime flight. During 2011, it landed at Bourget Field in Paris. During 2012, it made its first intercontinental flight from Morocco to Switzerland. Originally conceived as a one-seater, the design of Solar Impulse was altered to allow two. The first intercontinental flight was made by Piccard and Borschberg together. During 2013, he and Borschberg traversed the United States from Mountain View, California to JFK Airport in New York City. There were several stops along the way, including Washington, D.C. During 2015, the objective was to accomplish the first round-the-world solar flight in history.

The voyage consisted of multiple flights started on March 9 and scheduled to conclude about five months later. In order to switch pilots, stopovers were scheduled at locations in India, Myanmar, China, United States, and southern Europe or northern Africa. Bertrand Piccard piloted the ninth segment of the round-the-world trip and landed the Solar Impulse 2 in Moffett Field in California on 24 April 2016 after three days of flying from Kalaeloa Airport, Hawaii.

To book Bertrand Piccard as the motivational speaker for your corporate event, function or conference, simply contact the Champions Speakers agency by emailing or by calling a booking agent directly on 0207 1010 553.

When he’s at corporate events, Bertrand is known to cover the following topics:

  • Human Psychology
  • Balloonist
  • Solar Impulse 1
  • Long-Range Aircraft
  • Intercontinental Flights