Solar plane's Pacific crossing rescheduled

Updated: 2015-05-05 17:38


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NANJING - The sun-powered plane Solar Impulse 2 has delayed its flight across the Pacific scheduled for Tuesday, when Swiss pilot Bertrand Piccard had planned to make the five-day journey from Nanjing to Hawaii.

Piccard said the plane may not depart "until the weekend or next week, or maybe longer, in a couple of weeks."

The pilot said the 8,000-kilometer flight across the Pacific is the longest leg in the plane's global tour, which has 12 planned stops.

Piccard said the trip requires a period of clear weather, and forecasts have predicted typhoons on the ocean in the coming week.

In addition to weather concerns, the solar plane's battery is also not ready to make the trip as it is charged to less than 10 percent of full capacity, said Piccard.

The Swiss-made Solar Impulse 2 arrived in the east China city of Nanjing on April 21. Over the past weeks, Piccard and the flight team have participated in exchanges with representatives from the Chinese photovoltaic (PV) industry as well as students.

Piccard said the trip has allowed him and his team to meet with Chinese companies in different fields, which may lead to collaboration on programs in the future.