A solar-powered plane attempting to fly around the world will be grounded in Hawaii until April for battery repairs.
The plane, Solar Impulse 2, recently completed the longest leg of its global flight — a five-day, five-night journey from Japan to Hawaii. On that trip, the plane’s batteries overheated and sustained “irreversible” damage, according to a statement from the team.
The next leg of the journey, which would have taken the plane to Phoenix, was set for as early as this week.
The team said the temperature of the batteries during quick ascents and descents in a tropical climate was “not properly anticipated
Solar Impulse 2 has a wingspan larger than that of a standard Boeing 747. The wings contain 17,000 solar cells that power four electric motors. The solar cells recharge lithium batteries that allow the plane to fly at night.