The solar powered aircraft Solar Impulse 2 has been grounded following its record-breaking flight from Japan to Hawaii last week in which the aircraft flew non-stop for 117 hours and 52 minutes on nothing but solar energy. During this leg of the around-the-world journey that this aircraft is on its batteries suffered major damage which is why Solar Impulse 2 has been grounded for a few weeks as the necessary repairs are made.
As per the press release it may take up to three weeks for the Solar Impulse 2 to hit the skies once again, until then the repair work will continue to ensure that the aircraft can perform as expected on the next leg of this journey.
The team is of the view that battery damage has been caused due to overheating primarily because of excess insulation in the battery compartment. They noticed the overheating batteries on Solar Impulse 2’s first ascent in the flight from Nagoya to Hawaii.
They have also revealed that the damage to some parts is “irreversible,” which means that new parts will have to be brought in and fixed before the aircraft is ready to fly once again. All of this can take a couple of weeks.
Engineers will also be working on improving the design of the battery compartment to ensure that something like this doesn’t happen again on future long-haul flights.