Bad weather halts solar flight

Published: Monday 1st June 2015 by The News Editor

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A solar plane attempting to fly around the world without a drop of fuel is making an unscheduled stop in Japan due to bad weather.

The Swiss pilot of the Solar Impulse 2 took off from Nanjing, China, yesterday for Hawaii on what was to be the longest leg of the journey.

But the website and Twitter feed of the flight said today that the plane would instead land in Nagoya, Japan.

The journey started in March in Abu Dhabi, and the plane has stopped in Oman, India, Burma and China.

The 5,079-mile (8,175km) flight from Nanjing to Hawaii was the seventh of 12 flights and the longest and most dangerous leg.

Japanese transport ministry and Nagoya airport officials confirmed they are making arrangements for an unanticipated landing today.

Elke Neumann, a spokeswoman for the Solar Impulse project, said from Nanjing that the teams had noticed the bad weather pattern about 36 hours ago.

“We thought we might go through it,” she said. “But between Japan and Hawaii there’s no place to stop… so we said, for us, the pilot’s safety and the plane’s safety are really a priority right now. So we said, let’s wait the weather out a bit in Japan.”

Published: Monday 1st June 2015 by The News Editor

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