Solar-powered plane’s departure from Dayton rescheduled

Solar Impulse 2 flies over San Francisco, Saturday, April 23, 2016. The solar-powered airplane, which is attempting to circumnavigate the globe to promote clean energy and the spirit of innovation, arrived from Hawaii after a three-day journey across the Pacific Ocean. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – A solar-powered plane on a journey around the world has a new departure date from Dayton.

The Solar Impulse 2 was scheduled to take off from Dayton International Airport for Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania. This morning, until the hanger housing the plane deflated.

The temporary hanger was being used to store the plane while it was at the airport. At one point, part of the inflatable hanger touched the plane causing officials to immediately cancel the trip and identify any damage.

After investigating, they determined the plane was okay to fly and continue to on it’s trek around the world. It’s being operated by two different pilots that switch off from flight-to-flight.

They started in Abu Dhabi and have since traveled to China, Japan, Hawaii and Arizona. Solar Impulse 2 Spokesperson Elke Neumann says set backs like these are typical, but still require heavy investigating from engineers.

“This plane is an experimental plane so everything that happens is always new,” Neumann said. “Never, ever, has it done something like this before so we don’t have something to compare to. We always have to find out for ourselves what happens.”

As of right now, the plane is set to take-off tomorrow morning for Leigh Valley Pennsylvania. Until then, officials say they’ll be constantly monitoring the weather to make sure it’s safe to fly.

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