Solar plane delays Pacific crossing

2015-05-04 13:24
Solar Impulse 2. (Chinatopix via AP)

Solar Impulse 2. (Chinatopix via AP)

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Nanjing - The sun-powered lightweight aircraft Solar Impulse 2 delayed its planned five-day crossing of the Pacific until the weekend, the team said on Monday.

The plane is now scheduled to take off for the crossing from Nanjing to Hawaii, the longest for a solar plane, on Saturday at the earliest.

Swiss pilot Bertrand Piccard landed the aircraft in Nanjing on April 21 to complete the sixth leg of a round-the-world journey to promote renewable energy.

They had been due to make a brief stop and quickly travel on, but were held up by weather and safety concerns.

"The team had to find a weather slot," Piccard said.

Piccard's partner in the $150m Solar Impulse effort, Andre Borschberg, was to pilot the single-seater plane on the next leg, the longest so far, after travelling to Switzerland last month to recover from shingles.

He was taking 2.5kg of food and 3.5l of water for each of the five days he will spend on the 8 000km Pacific crossing, he tweeted.

Borschberg, an engineer on the team, also posted pictures of himself taking yoga lessons to help him survive the extended periods in the cramped cockpit.

Powered by more than 17 000 solar cells installed on its wings, Solar Impulse 2 is scheduled to make 12 stops in its flight around the world, spending about 25 days in the air spread over five months.

Read more on:    us  |  renewable energy

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