Monday, 1 June 2015

Solar Impulse to land in Japan because of poor weather

As you know, we have been following the solar impulse around the world.

Its most intriguing, but as regards to practical ability, we think Phileas Phogg might just have beat them around the world.

unfortunately yet again the record-breaking attempt to cross the Pacific Ocean using a solar-powered plane has hit another bump in the road (or should that be an air pocket)

Poor weather conditions are forcing the Solar Impulse craft to head to Japan to land.
The pilot was 36 hours into what was expected to be a six-day journey from China to Hawaii.
The team will now wait in Japan for clearer skies before attempting to continue.

The experimental craft, which is covered in 17,000 solar cells, took off from Abu Dhabi in March.

The Pacific crossing, however, was always going to be the most challenging part of this epic journey.

Solar Impulse had already waited more than a month in Nanjing for the right weather conditions to open up over the Pacific.

It needs not only favourable winds to push forward, but also cloud-free skies during the day to soak up enough energy from the Sun to enable nighttime flying on its batteries.

The team's meteorologists thought they had identified a suitable weather window - and the plane set off at 18:39 GMT on Saturday.

Mr Borschberg had been making good progress. However, in the early hours of Monday morning (GMT), the Solar Impulse team announced it was putting the plane in a holding pattern.

The pilot was asked to circle over the Sea of Japan while meteorologists assessed whether they could find their way through a worsening weather front close to Hawaii.

Mr Borschberg was just hours away from the point of no return - the stage in the flight where, if something were to go wrong, the plane would be too far from land to turn back and Mr Borschberg would have to bail out into the ocean.

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