Date
24 September 2017
This handout photo taken and released early on May 31 by the Solar Impulse project shows the Swiss-made solar-powered plane Solar Impluse 2 taking off from Nanjing for its next stop in Hawaii. Credit: AFP
This handout photo taken and released early on May 31 by the Solar Impulse project shows the Swiss-made solar-powered plane Solar Impluse 2 taking off from Nanjing for its next stop in Hawaii. Credit: AFP

Bad weather forces Solar Impulse to land in Japan

Bad weather has forced Solar Impulse 2, the solar-powered plane that was attempting a landmark voyage across the Pacific Ocean, to turn back and head to Japan.

“Weather deteriorating over Pacific, decision taken for intermediate landing in Nagoya and wait for better conditions,” the mission’s initiator Bertrand Piccard said in a Twitter message, Agence France-Presse reported.

The seventh leg of the round-the-world journey was set to take pilot Andre Borschberg, 62, on a six-day, six-night flight from the Chinese city of Nanjing across the Pacific Ocean to Hawaii, an 8,500-kilometer flight.

The pilot was 36 hours into the journey before poor weather prompted him to head back and make a landing in Nagoya.

The team will now wait in Japan for clearer skies before attempting to resume the flight.

The experimental craft, which is covered in 17,000 solar cells, took off from Abu Dhabi in March. The Pacific crossing, however, was always going to be the most challenging part of this epic journey.

The team has already had to wait for a month in Nanjing for the right weather conditions, BBC noted.

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CG/RC

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