Switzerland – The Solar Impulse 2, the Swiss made experimental solar powered aircraft, seems to be in trouble. As the name suggests, the aircraft flies only with solar energy. Flying around the world with solar energy is a clever idea and pretty hard to achieve. It requires the collaboration of numerous people who will do their best to make sure that the whole operation is safe and yet reachable. The purpose of its trip is to promote renewable energy sources and especially solar energy.
But despite all the above, the team behind the sun-powered Solar Impulse 2 plane on Tuesday said it needed an additional 20 million euros ($22 million) to complete a historic round-the-world flight, after battery damage grounded it for months.
In fact, Mr Bertrand Piccard, co-founder of the Solar Impulse project returned to Switzerland looking for €20 million to repair the damage caused to Solar Impulse 2 as it flew to Hawaii.
“The Guardian” mentions: “The darkest moment of André Borschberg’s unprecedented solar flight across the Pacific was not when he learned of the battery failure that has now suspended the Solar Impulse flight until next spring”.
It was 12 hours into the journey, as he flew about 6,000 metres over the Pacific, south-east of Tokyo, and a decision had to be made about whether to continue. “Before every flight you have what we call the point of no return – it was the afternoon of the first day,” he says.
The Solar Impulse is currently parked at a hanger near to and monitored by the University of Hawaii.
Once repairs are completed, the plane is expected to cross the United States, stopping in New York before a trans-Atlantic flight to Europe.
From there, the pilots plan to make their way back to the point of departure in Abu Dhabi.