A solar-powered airplane attempting to fly around the world was forced by deteriorating weather conditions to shorten the seventh and longest leg of its 35,000-kilometer journey on Monday.
The solo flight by Swiss aviator Andre Borschberg, who was attempting to cross the Pacific Ocean from China to Hawaii in a single non-stop flight scheduled to take five days, had to make an unscheduled landing in Nagoya, western Japan, due to the an unexpected change in weather conditions on Monday.
A cold front moving across the Pacific Ocean into the projected flight path was deemed too dangerous to continue and the flight was thus cut short with Borschberg landing the aircraft covered with solar power panels and loaded with high-tech batteries safely at Nagoya Airfield. He will wait there for better conditions before continuing to Hawaii.
Despite that the Solar Impulse 2 flight which started in Nanjing, China on Sunday, had to be cut short, Borschberg and the Solar Impulse 2 crew were pleased with the performance of the airplane on the challenging 40-hour flight to Japan – the longest flight ever made by a solar-powered airplane in terms of duration and distance.
pictures by Andre Boschberg, Anna Pizzolante