Solar powered plane grounded until August

Record-breaking Solar Impulse 2 aircraft needs to repair damaged batteries to fly

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Solar Impulse 2, a solar powered plane on a bid to circle the planet, has been grounded by damaged batteries and needs at least a few weeks before becoming airborne again.

The batteries were over-insulated and over-heated when the plane took on the record breaking journey from Japan to Hawaii, the team said.

According to the team, Solar Impulse 2 won’t fly again before the start of August.

The solar aircraft landed in Hawaii following a 118-hour record breaking solo flight over the Pacific.

The plane will next head to Phoenix in Arizona as part of its symbolic goal to circle the globe to show what clean and renewable energy is capable of.

On March 9, Swiss explorers Borschberg and Bertrand Piccard began their journey around the globe from Abu Dhabi with the plane, which carries 17,000 solar cells across its wings and on-board rechargeable lithium batteries.

The journey, expected to last 25 days, was broken into 12 legs at speeds from 50 km/h to 100 km/h.

After completing the flight from Honolulu to Phoenix, Borschberg and Piccard will fly together across the Atlantic back to Abu Dhabi.

Although its wingspan is longer than that of the largest passenger jet, Solar Impulse 2 weighs only 2.3 tones, about the weight of a family sedan.

TRTWorld and agencies