Solar plane is heading for Silicon Valley

IDG News Service | Apr 21, 2016

The remarkable Solar Impulse 2 aircraft has resumed its round-the-world flight attempt and took off from Hawaii on Thursday for Silicon Valley.

This remarkable solar plane is back in the sky.

It started with a song of good fortune early Thursday morning in Hawaii before Solar Impulse 2, a pioneering solar-powered aircraft resumed its attempt to fly around the world without using a single drop of fuel.

The aircraft took off from Abu Dhabi in March 2015, and made stops in several Asian countries before reaching it’s eighth stop, Hawaii, in July 2015. But it’s been grounded there after batteries began overheating. By the time they were fixed, the crew decided to wait for the better weather and longer days of the spring.

Solar Impulse 2 is covered with more than 17,000 solar panels, which charge up four Lithium Ion batteries during daylight so it can continue flying at night.

If all goes well, the aircraft will fly for almost three days across the Pacific landing at NASA’s Moffett Field in Silicon Valley on Saturday evening.

It’s then scheduled to cross the U.S., fly across the Atlantic to Southern Europe or Northern Africa and then on to Abu Dhabi, completing the round-the-world trip.