Ahmedabad: Solar Impulse-2 (SI-2), the world's first aircraft to be powered solely by solar energy, which made a stopover here en route its round-the-world trip, delayed its departure until Wednesday due to "fog concerns".
The announcement was made by the SI-2 crew on their official Facebook page today.
"Flight3 D-3 (Departure minus three) takeoff from Ahmedabad to Varanasi has been postponed to Wednesday, the 18th of March, due to fog concerns. After a short pit-stop, Flight4 to Mandalay will happen the day after," read the post on SI-2's Facebook page.
According to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport Director R K Singh, overall weather condition of the city as well as the northern part of India is responsible for extension of the stopover.
"The crew takes into consideration not merely the fog in this airport, but also the overall weather which they will face on their route till Varanasi. Looking at the monsoon-like weather and formation of clouds in the sky, they have decided to stay here until Wednesday," Singh said.
He said that this is their second postponement. Earlier, their flight to Varanasi had to be postponed due to bad weather in the city and the stopover was initially extended till Tuesday.
SI-2 landed here on March 10 and as per its flight schedule, it was supposed to take off on March 15, which was then extended till March 17, after sporadic rain as well as hailstorm in the city. Now, the takeoff has once again been delayed until March 18 due to cloudy weather.
From Varanasi, SI-2 would go to Mandalay in Myanmar as well as to Chongqing and Nanjing in China after which it would go to the USA, as per information available on the Solar Impulse-2 project's website.