BREAKING NEWS from Solar Impulse 2 (Si2): Irreversible Damage To Overheated Batteries In Si2 Pushes The Second Half Of Round-The-World Solar Flight To Early Spring 2016.
Despite the hard work of the team to repair the batteries which overheated in the record-breaking oceanic flight from Nagoya to Hawaii, Si2 will stay in Hawaii until early Spring 2016.
“Irreversible damage to certain parts of the batteries will require repairs which will last several months. In parallel, we will be studying various options for better cooling and heating processes for very long flights,” Solar Impulse stated.
The University of Hawaii with the support of the Department of Transportation will host the airplane in its hanger at Kalaeloa airport. Post maintenance check flights will start in 2016 to test the new battery heating and cooling systems.
The round-the-world mission will resume early April 2016, from Hawaii to the West Coast of the United States. From there, Solar Impulse 2 will cross the USA to JFK in New York before making the Atlantic crossing to Europe and then returning to the point of departure in Abu Dhabi.
“Solar Impulse 2 is attempting a historic first of flying around the world only on solar energy. And while we have completed 8 legs, covering nearly half of the journey, setbacks are part of the challenges of a project which is pushing technological boundaries to the limits. We will try to complete the first ever round-the-world solar flight in 2016 and this delay will in no way influence the overall objectives of this pioneering endeavor.”
How many of us will be trekking to the solar-loving state of Hawaii during the months ahead to see this amazing aircraft? I’ll let you know when I hear about times that Si2 is open to the public. —Amber Archangel