360: Come sit in the Solar Impulse cockpit!

Bertrand Piccard tries out the Solar Impulse Cockpit VR Google Cardboard app prior to the spring 2016 Maroon Convocation Ceremony. Photographer: Jessica Hochreiter/ASU

Have you ever asked yourself what it’s like to be in the cockpit of the first solar airplane able to fly for several days and nights in a row? Thanks to Peter Lafford and his students from the Arizona State University (ASU), you’ll now be able to test it in virtual reality.

Here’s how: install the “Solar Impulse Cockpit VR” Android app via Google Play on your smartphone, and use a virtual reality headset like Google Cardboard. And then enjoy the full immersion thanks to the 360° scope and audio track which explains the instruments and cockpit layout.

// App Download Link HERE

The pilots met Peter in 2013 when they stopped in Phoenix during the Across America mission. They had been invited on stage for the Arizona State University commencement speech, and when talking to them, Peter came up with the idea of creating this great app.

Peter Lafford and team visiting in Phoenix this year!

Bertrand and André were able to see him again a few days ago when we landed in Phoenix, the 11th city of the Round-The-World adventure. As fate had it, they were again asked to speak at the ASU commencement speech.

Junghyo Lee, Bertrand Piccard, Sandeep Gupta, André Borschberg and Ayan Banerjee. Photographer: Jessica Hochreiter/ASU

So get in that cockpit! And don’t forget to live the full experience by following our live during the flights. We have five cameras both in and out of the cockpit to show you all the details of what Bertrand and André are experiencing when flying solar, as well as the whole telemetry feed and regular mission updates. To make sure you don’t miss any flights, click here and we’ll drop you an email.


To make sure you live the full 360 experience check out our 360 videos playlist on our Youtube channel