HONOLULU (AP) – A team trying to fly a solar-powered plane around the world is suspending the journey in Hawaii after the plane suffered battery damage during its flight to the islands.
The Solar Impulse team said in a news release early Wednesday that it will continue the around-the-world attempt, but irreversible damage caused by overheating batteries has grounded the flight until at least August.
Solar Impulse says the batteries overheated on the first day of the trip from Japan to Hawaii and that there was no way to cool down the system. The company says there was no weakness with the technology, but the team didn’t anticipate temperature fluctuations associated with rapid altitude changes in a tropical climate.
The airplane will be housed in a University of Hawaii hangar at the Kalaeloa airport on Oahu while repairs are made.