Design Engineering

Solar plane sidelined in Japan by wing damage


General Aerospace

TOKYO — The pilot of a solar-powered plane that made an unplanned stop in Japan says his aircraft is ready to fly but must wait out unfavourable weather, perhaps for up to two months.

Photo courtesy of Solar Impulse

Photo courtesy of Solar Impulse

Swiss pilot Andre Borschberg said Thursday that it could take weeks for a weather front stretching from Alaska to Taiwan to clear enough for him to leave Nagoya, in central Japan.

Borschberg diverted to Nagoya due to weather concerns while travelling from Nanjing in China to Hawaii. He said his plane, which was slightly damaged by wind while on the ground in Nagoya, is fully repaired and ready to go.

The flight to Hawaii will take five or six days. The airplane carries no fuel, so project engineers use simulations to decide if it is safe to fly.



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