Solar Impulse 2 resumes round-the-world flight

2016-04-21 19:00
The Solar Impulse 2 airplane just before pilot Bertrand Piccard got on board for take-off at Kalaeloa Airport, Hawaii. (Eugene Tanner, AFP)

The Solar Impulse 2 airplane just before pilot Bertrand Piccard got on board for take-off at Kalaeloa Airport, Hawaii. (Eugene Tanner, AFP)

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Honolulu - The Solar Impulse 2 resumed its record-breaking quest on Thursday to circle the globe without consuming a drop of fuel, taking advantage of improved weather to take off from Hawaii.

The experimental sun-powered plane, piloted by Swiss adventurer Bertrand Piccard, left Kalaeloa Airport at 06:15 (16:15 GMT) after strong winds delayed the flight around 75 minutes, images beamed live online showed.

"C'est beau! We are in the air," the 58-year-old pilot said as the aircraft left the runway.

The SI2 was grounded in July last year when its batteries suffered problems halfway through its 35 000 km circumnavigation.

The crew took several months to repair the damage from high tropical temperatures during the flight's final Pacific stage, a 6 400km flight between Nagoya, Japan and Hawaii.

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