Solar Impulse 2 Ready To Resume Global Flight


After a nine-month hiatus in Hawaii, Solar Impulse 2 is ready to resume its around-the-world flight. The crew will look for favorable conditions this month so the single-seat aircraft can launch from Oahu for North America, where landing options include Vancouver, San Francisco, Los Angeles or Phoenix. From there, the aircraft will continue eastward and cross the Atlantic on the way to Abu Dhabi, where it departed last year. The voyage was cut short last July after pilot Andre Borschberg’s flight from Japan to Hawaii, where Solar Impulse 2 was grounded due to overheated batteries.

The team decided to add a cooling system to help prevent overheating and also worked to replace the entire collection of battery cells, which took a number of months as the parts had to be manufactured in Korea, according to a report in Wired. In the meantime, Solar Impulse, a nonprofit group, raised $29 million to complete the around-the-world trip, which was designed to prove the viability and environmental benefits of solar-powered aircraft. Solar Impulse 2 has 17,000 solar cells to power its four motors and recharge lithium batteries for use at night.