Looking like an igloo condominium, Solar Impulse’s inflatable hangar was hastily shipped to Nagoya Airport in Japan to protect the large, but vulnerable, machine from weather damage. Before the temporary hangar could be installed, though, high winds caused part of the structure holding a cover over the right wing to hit the aileron and cause minor damage.
Solar Impulse reports, “In the early hours of Tuesday 2 June as we were in the process of offloading the material and beginning to prepare the mount the mobile hangar, there were wind gusts which led to damage to SIB, on a small part of the wing. We do not see this as being a major issue, but we do not have a full evaluation of the time necessary to repair. We hope that it will not exceed at least one week and will know more in the next days…”
With HB-SIB sheltered safely for now planners scan the weather ahead for the final push to Hawaii. This diversion prevents Andre’ Borschberg from testing the limits of his endurance beyond what will probably be a five-day flight.
We continue to wish the pilots and support crew the best of luck and calm, sunny weather ahead.