After a several month-long layover in Hawaii, Solar Impulse 2 is back in the air and on the way to California for the latest leg in its around-the-world journey. Following delays due to wind gusts, the solar-powered plane took off with Bertrand Piccard in the cockpit just around sunrise from the island of O'ahu.
This will be the ninth and one of the longest legs of the journey, taking Piccard all the way to Mountain View, California over the course of three days during 62 hours of continuous flight. As insane as this flight plan might sound, the 117-hour flight from Japan to Hawaii flown by Piccard's partner and fellow pilot André Borschberg on the most recent leg of the mission last year was nearly twice as long.
Following the arrival of Solar Impulse 2 in Hawaii last July, the team discovered that the batteries on the plane had been damaged after overheating on that long leg from Japan.
The leg to reach the North American continent was delayed until this month and during the long pause, the Solar Impulse team flew more than a dozen test flights over Hawaii to ensure that its new batteries, stabilization and cooling systems were up for the trip.
You can see a little bit of the build-up to the take-off from Hawaii in the video below.
Source: Solar Impulse