Damaged batteries delay @SolarImpulse journey until 2016

IMG_4775 The historic flight of the Solar Impulse 2 from Nagoya, Japan to Hawaii will be the last flight of 2015. The around the world journey was to continue on from Hawaii to Phoenix, Arizona, but when the team announced that damaged batteries were going to delay the mission, the window to complete the flight around the world quickly closed. Initially it was thought that just a few batteries needed to be replaced. After analysis of the entire system, the team decided to replace all the batteries. With these batteries not being immediately available, the installation would push into August. As the days get shorter, the optimal charging and cooling cycle for the batteries will change. Also the end of summer is the peak hurricane season as numerous storms form in the eastern Pacific. This along with the hospitality shown to the Solar Impulse team by officials in Hawaii resulted in the decision to stay in Hawaii through the winter. The plan is to resume the around the world flight in April or May 2016. The Solar Impulse 2 aircraft will remain in the Univ of Hawaii hangar at Kalaeloa Airport. Work now will involve securing the plane and repairing the systems in preparation for the flight next year. The majority of the crew will return to their families until 2016. Our full interview with Andre Borschberg, CEO and pilot of Solar Impulse and Gregory Blatt, "Pilot on the ground" and Managing Director will air at 5pm (Wed, 7/15/15) during the regularly scheduled time on Hawaii Public Radio. Our guests talk candidly about the mission and the tough decisions made along the way. If you listen to their story, it is hard not to appreciate the complexity of this journey and the fortitude and dedication required by the team to manage through all situations. If you missed it at air time, you can listen (after 5pm) to the podcast here. You can read the press announcement here.