Solar Impulse stuck in Japan due to wing damage

PTI Tokyo | Updated on January 24, 2018

A crew member stands underneath the Solar Impulse 2, a solar powered plane, as it is parked in an inflatable hangar after an unscheduled landing at Nagoya airport in Japan on June 3, 2015.   -  Reuters

Swiss pilot Andre Borschberg (R) and Aichi Prefecture Governor Hideaki Omura (C) step out of an inflatable hangar that houses the Solar Impulse 2, a solar powered plane at Nagoya airport in Japan on June 3, 2015.   -  Reuters

The solar-powered plane, Solar Impulse 2, forced to land in Japan will be stuck on the ground for at least a week after wind gusts damaged one of its wings.

Solar Impulse 2 was headed from China to Hawaii when its team decided to divert to Nagoya, Japan, because of bad weather ahead.

After landing late on Monday, a cover was put over the wing to protect it from the rain and the sun.

“There was so much wind and gusts that this cover started to shake on the wing, and damaged an aileron on the trailing edge of the wing,” Bertrand Piccard, the head of the project, said in a video posted on the expedition’s website.

It will take at least one week to repair the wing, he said. The plane has since been covered with an inflatable hanger to protect it.

The Solar Impulse departed from Nanjing, China, on Sunday on what was expected to be the longest leg of the journey, a six-day, 8,175-kilometre flight to Hawaii.

Instead, the plane landed in Nagoya in central Japan to wait out the unexpected bad weather.

Swiss pilot Andre Borschberg is flying without any fuel.

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Published on June 04, 2015
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