Rain, clouds delay solar-powered plane's departure from Guj

Rain, clouds delay solar-powered plane's departure from Guj

Solar Impulse-2, claimed to be the world's first 'no fuel' aircraft, which arrived here on a round-the-world trip on March 10, has delayed its departure due to the cloudy weather conditions.

"The aircraft will remain at the city airport until Tuesday due to bad weather conditions," Sardar Vallabhbhai International Airport Director R K Singh said.

"D-4 (departure minus four) before RTW (Round the world) Flight 3 from Ahmedabad to Varanasi, India," said Solar Impulse-2 project's Twitter handle.

The aircraft does not use "a drop of fuel", according to the project website. It runs on lithium batteries that are charged by solar cells on its wings.

Many parts of Gujarat, including Ahmedabad, have had unseasonal rains and overcast skies in the last two days.

Meteorological Centre, Ahmedabad, said the state was likely to witness light rains and thundershowers for another two days due to "upper air-cyclonic circulation that lies over South Pakistan and adjoining west Rajasthan".

The aircraft started its journey on March 9 from Abu Dhabi. Swiss pilot Bertrand Piccard flew the plane from Muscat to Ahmedabad on Tuesday night after a fifteen-hour flight.

Both Piccard and Andre Borschberg, the project's founders and pilots, are in the city at present.

From Varanasi, the SI-2 would fly on to Mandalay in Myanmar, Chongqing and Nanjing in China and thereon to USA. 

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