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Solar Impulse To Resume Around-The-World Flight Thursday

Solar Impulse plane
(Photo courtesy of Solar Impulse - Revillard - Rezo.ch)
The Solar Impulse 2 flying over Abu Dhabi.

After a nine-month delay, a solar-powered plane is ready to resume its flight across the Pacific Ocean. After its initial continental landing, the plane plans to visit the Valley.

Solar Impulse, the aircraft powered by 17,000 solar cells across its wings along with rechargeable batteries, will be off the ground Thursday morning. The crew has found the weather window needed to complete the 62-hour flight from Hawaii to its first U.S. landing at Moffett Airfield in Mountain View, California.

The plane and two-man crew were grounded by overheated batteries after the 117-hour Japan to Hawaii leg of the trans-global journey. After the plane lands in California, and if no repairs are needed, Solar Impulse plans to land in Phoenix next. This will mark the second time Solar Impulse visits the Valley, the first being on its cross-continental journey in 2013.

Andrew Bernier was a senior field correspondent at KJZZ from 2014 to 2016.