• Switzerland's news in English
Bad weather forces Solar Impulse to fly to  Japan
Photo: STR/AFP

Bad weather forces Solar Impulse to fly to Japan

AFP · 1 Jun 2015, 10:23

Published: 01 Jun 2015 10:23 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

"Weather deteriorating over Pacific, decision taken for intermediate landing in Nagoya and wait for better conditions," tweeted Bertrand Piccard, the initiator of the mission.

The plane was earlier in the day in a holding pattern near Japan as organizers warned that bad weather in the days ahead could block its ambitious bid to cross the Pacific.

The seventh leg of the round-the-world journey was set to take pilot André Borschberg, 62, on a six-day, six-night flight from the Chinese city of Nanjing across the Pacific to Hawaii, an 8,500-kilometre (5,270-mile) flight.

The bold attempt was called off just after 3 pm Shanghai time (0700 GMT).

Organizers said the plane was expected to land in Nagoya Monday evening.
"When we took off from China it was quite clear we could cross the front,"
Piccard said on a live video posted on YouTube.
"It was almost easy I would say, the weatherman was very confident.
"Now the window has closed. The front is too thick, too big. The plane would have to go through big layers of cloud.
"The only safe decision is to stop in Nagoya, wait a few days before carrying on."

Borschberg completed Solar Impulse 2's first overnight leg, with the aircraft relying solely on batteries charged by the sun's energy.
Promote green energy

The flight from Nanjing to Hawaii was scheduled to be the longest section of the maiden solar-powered global circumnavigation, an attempt to promote green energy.

The journey began in Abu Dhabi in March and was originally intended to be for 12 legs, with a total flight time of around 25 days.
Speaking on Saturday hours before the departure from Nanjing, Borschberg told reporters that the plane could land in Japan in case of technical
problems, but the open ocean offers no such possibility.
"In case of emergency, we have Japan on the way, so we have identified airports where we could stop but this only really is in case of very difficult
technical problems," Borschberg previously said.
"As soon as we leave this part of the world, then afterwards we are in the open sea," he said.

Story continues below…

"There is no way to come back."
Failure could mean a parachute descent into the ocean, hundreds of kilometres from rescue.
No ship is trailing the plane as it travels far too fast for a maritime vessel to keep up with, even though its maximum speed of 140 kilometres an
hour is much slower than conventional jet aircraft.
Solar Impulse 2 is powered by more than 17,000 solar cells built into wings that, at 72 metres, are longer than those of a Boeing 747 and approaching those of an Airbus A380 superjumbo.
The plane is the successor of Solar Impulse, which notched up a 26-hour flight in 2010, proving its ability to store enough power in lithium batteries during the day to keep flying at night.

For more news from Switzerland, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Presented by MoneyPark
How to get a mortgage in Switzerland
Houses in Zürich. Photo: Pixabay.

Ready to buy? Here’s what you need to know as an expat about Swiss regulations, how to finance your purchase, and why you should use a broker.

Autumn in Switzerland: ten stunning Instagram photos
Photo: Swiss Tourism/Jan Geerk

Switzerland is beautiful in all seasons, but as these photos show, autumn is a special time in the alpine country.

Report: Swiss progress slows on gender equality
File photo: David Soulivet

Globally, it will take 170 years to achieve gender equality, according to the World Economic Forum.

Brothers go to court to stop suicide of sibling
File photo: Lisa Edmonds

Two men have filed a legal bid to prevent the Swiss assisted suicide association Exit from helping their older brother to kill himself.

Wawrinka snubs past form to reach Basel second round
Wawrinka beat local wildcard Marco Chiudinelli. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

US Open champion Stan Wawrinka has reached the second round in Basel after going out in the first round for the past four years.

Villagers asked to help fund bridge renovations
The bridge links the two villages of Veltheim (pictured) and Holderbank. Photo: Lutz Fischer-Lamprecht

The crowdfunding campaign by the two communes is the first of its kind in Switzerland.

Police discover body buried in Orbe house
File photo: Bas Leenders

Police have opened an investigation after finding a body buried in a house in Orbe, in the canton of Vaud, on Saturday.

Valais shaken by 4.2 magnitude earthquake
The earthquake hit in the canton of Valais near Sierre. Photo: Alain Rouiller

It's the biggest earthquake to hit the country for two years.

Swiss Indoors kicks off without champ Federer
Federer celebrates with ball girls and boys after winning the event in 2015. Photo: Harold Cunningham/Pool/AFP

Stan Wawrinka is top seed as injured Federer sits it out.

IOC hires Russian doping whistleblower as consultant
IOC President Thomas Bach confirmed the news. File photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has hired Vitaly Stepanov as a consultant and is helping his runner wife Yuliya.

Photo: Unterirdisch Ueberleben
Inside Switzerland’s largest nuclear bunker – 40 years on
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Photo: The Local
Ticino firefighters rescue cow from swimming pool
Photo: Antoni Da Campo
Vegan wins battle to be accepted by Swiss army
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Ten Swiss ski resorts named most expensive in Europe
Photo: Randy Kashka
Swiss women will ‘work for free’ for the rest of year
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Montreux throws hat in Olympic rings
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Seven things you’ll miss about Switzerland if you leave
Photo: Richard Juilliard/AFP
Man makes Geneva airport bomb threat ‘for a joke’
Photo: AFP
Solar Impulse team reveals plans for unmanned plane
File photo: Martin Abegglen
Swiss to vote on passport rules for 3rd gen foreigners
Photo: AFP
Swiss wingsuit hotspot Lauterbrunnen won’t impose ban
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Six reasons Switzerland isn’t as boring as you might think
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Report: Switzerland one of world’s best places for girls
Photo: The Local
Thief returns Swiss cow bells worth thousands
File photo: Wikimedia Commons
One in three rapists isn’t locked up: statistics
Photo: activistin.ch
Tampon-tax protest turns Zurich fountains red
Photo: AFP
Geneva police to lift ban on bearded officers
Photo: Marcel Gillieron/AFP
Suicide chef’s restaurant keeps Michelin stars
Photo: Lara de Salis
11 things the Swiss get tired of hearing abroad
Photo:  Ivo Scholz/Swiss-image.ch
Survey: expats in Switzerland have money but few friends
Photo: AFP
Swiss press criticize Bern’s 'capitulation' on immigration
Photo: Jura Trois Lacs tourism
German ex-policeman is Swiss city’s new hermit
Photo: Dmitry A. Mottl
Ticino votes to favour local workers over foreigners
jobs available