Last updated: 01:22 PM ET, Mon March 16 2015

Solar-Powered Plane's Journey on Pause After Rough Weather

Airlines & Airports | Donald Wood | March 16, 2015

Solar-Powered Plane's Journey on Pause After Rough Weather

Photo via Twitter

Traveling around the world is a dream for many people with wanderlust, but two pilots are taking the concept very seriously as they attempt to circumnavigate Earth using a solar-powered plane.

We previously reported on the beginning of the plane's journey, a trip expected to take several months and help spread awareness of alternate fuel sources in aviation.

Unfortunately, the team is experiencing an issue right now in Ahmedabad, India. According to the Press Trust of India, the third flight of the journey flight has been delayed to Wednesday, March 18 due to concerns regarding fog.

The third flight of the journey will take the team from Ahmedabad to Varanasi.

Dubbed the “Solar Impulse 2”, the plane has a 236-foot wingspan, making it wider than a traditional Boeing 747 commercial plane. On the other hand, the solar-powered aircraft only weighs 2.5 tons, making it lighter than many larger SUVs, according to

The plane draws the energy needed for flight from 17,000 solar cells that power four electric motors. The aircraft also holds batteries that are charged during the day and store enough energy to help the plane get through the nights.

The official Twitter account of the Solar Impulse 2 shared its initial takeoff sequence:

The trip will take place in 12 sections. The total trip equates to 35,000 kilometers (21,748 miles), according to Jones, and will call for both men to spend a combined 500-plus hours inside the aircraft during its five-month journey.

With stops in India, China and the United States, the two veteran pilots will put their aircraft and themselves through a rigorous test. The flight couldn’t have asked for two better pilots, though, as Borschberg is a former fighter pilot and Piccard was part of the team that became the first to ever travel around the world nonstop in a balloon.

Now Borschberg and Piccard will look to make history again.


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