In its bid to fly round the world using just solar power, the Solar Impulse team yesterday took off on an 8000km journey across the Pacific, from China to Hawaii. Now, it's abandoning the current flight due to bad weather.
The team behind the mission has tweeted that the "weather window toward Hawaii has deteriorated". As a result, they have "decided to make an intermediate landing in Nagoya". That will necessitate turning round and heading back along its route.
The flight leg has been referred to by the team as the "moment of truth", putting the solo pilot Andre Borschberg through five days and nights of flying with only 20-minute naps for breaks. The team was hoping this, perhaps the most gruelling leg of the journey, would go without hitch — helping demonstrate the abilities of both plane and pilot.
At a first try, that seems not to be happening. The team will no doubt hope for better luck at the next shot; well keep you posted about the details as they break. [Solar Impulse]
Picture: Solar Impulse