Solar Impulse grounded until April 2016

UPDATE JULY 15, 10:49 AM

As announced this morning by the Solar Impulse team, Solar Impulse 2 will be forced remain in Hawaii until at least April of 2016.

According to the press release, repairs to the batteries damaged in the most recent leg will take more time than anticipated—at least a few months. And such a delay pushes the delicate plane out of a viable window of flight.

“Time is needed to repair. W/ late season weather conditions & shorter days, #Si2 won’t move before April 2016,” tweeted the official Solar Impulse account.

solar impulse tweet

With the plane kindly being stored by the University of Hawaii and the Department of Transportation in a hangar of the Kalaeloa airport, such a setback is not necessarily a bad thing. The team now has proper time to find a solution to the problem that damaged the batteries in the first place—overheating. They also intend to spend the time improving general plane performance.

The pilots of Solar Impulse 2, André Borschberg and Bertrand Piccard, took to Twitter to assure followers.

“We will get back on track and continue @solarimpulse’s Round-The-World next year. The adventure continues,” wrote Piccard.

“@solarimpulse’s Round-The-World will continue in 2016. We will never give up!” said Borschberg.

Not everyone was as positive, however. Joe the Shark, the cartoon predator following the plane in hopes it’ll crash (so he can eat it), had this to say:

“NOOOOOO! Still hungry… I have to wait… but it means I have 8 months to prepare a good strategy!”

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