Solar Impulse 2 Is Recovering From The Longest Solo Flight
After setting the record for the longest solo flight last week, Impulse 2 is taking a long-needed break. Is the aircraft in good health?
Having completed the record-breaking 117-hour 51-minute flight from Japan to Hawaii, the aircraft is recovering from the journey. According to the recent press release, the time needed for recovery is set at two to three weeks, due to battery damage sustained during the flight.
The cause of the damage is thought to be overheating due to “excess insulation in the battery compartment”. The nature of the flight presupposes that the plane ascends to 28,000 feet to collect energy before descending closer to Earth for the night.
In the new press release, the team describes battery damages as “irreversible” and explains that certain parts of the equipment will need to be replaced.
The official Twitter account states that the repair brake will probably last till August.
What does this means for the future of the flight?
From Hawaii, the plane is expected to fly to Phoenix, Arizona, before flying over the Atlantic Ocean for a stopover in North Africa or Southern Europe, before making its final stop in Abu-Dhabi.
The latest hold-up may make the journey back to the Middle East more complicated. As the days in the Northern Hemisphere become shorter, there may not be enough solar energy to power the plane through the flight.
We wish Solar Impulse all the best in its challenging record-setting journey, and hope that all the cards will fall into place.
Read more about the solar plane’s exciting journey here.