Solar-powered plane flying to Hawaii makes weather-related stopover in Japan


The solar plane Solar Impulse 2 which took off from Nanjing, China, to cross the Pacific for Hawaii made an intermediate landing in Japan Sunday due to worsening weather conditions.

After 44 hours of flight, the plane’s weather team observed the development to a cold front en route to Hawaii which would be too difficult to cross. During a few hours of holding position, mission control decided to divert pilot André Borschberg toward and land at Nagoya-Komaki Airport.

The mission will now wait for optimal weather conditions in order to continue its flight around the world via Hawaii.

The 62-year-old pilot and the support team knew this leg of the solar-powered experimental plane’s worldwide journey from China to the islands would be the most dangerous.

Before he departed, Borschberg said they were prepared for some bad weather. “So we know that there won’t be typhoons because this we can predict. We are not sure, of course, exactly how the weather will look like. So the team on the ground will work and help me to see this happen and keep it in the right weather conditions.”

Crossing the Pacific Ocean to Honolulu was originally expected to take about five days and five nights. It’s the mission of the Solar Impulse 2 to fly around the world without a drop of fuel.

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