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Wind damages wing of solar plane sidelined in Japan

  • The Solar Impulse 2 project staff members gathered around the aircraft as it landed the Nagoya Airport in Toyoyama

NAGOYA, Japan >> A solar-powered plane forced to land in Japan when it hit bad weather during its trip around the globe has encountered more challenges after wind gusts damaged a wing on the grounded aircraft.

Swiss pilot Andre Borschberg says on the expedition’s website that the damage to the Solar Impulse 2 on Tuesday will “necessitate at least a week to repair.” It has delayed the journey further, but he says the damage is not a major issue.

The Solar Impulse departed Nanjing, China, on Sunday on what was expected to be the longest leg of the journey, a six-day, 5,079-mile flight to Hawaii. 

Instead, the plane landed late Monday at the Nagoya Airport in central Japan to wait out unexpectedly bad weather.

Borschberg is flying without any fuel.

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