Solar-powered plane ready to continue record-breaking journey

Solar Impulse 2 (Getty)
Solar Impulse 2 (Getty)

A solar-powered plane attempting to circumnavigate the globe is ready to continue on its record-breaking journey.

The Solar Impulse 2 is the first aircraft able to fly day and night without any fuel, powered entirely by the sun.

Solar-powered plane ready to continue record-breaking journey

Pilot Andre Borschberg aboard the Solar Impulse 2 (Getty)

Since last July it's been grounded in Hawaii, after battery damage incurred during the plane's record nearly 118-hour trans-Pacific flight from Japan.

The batteries store energy during daylight hours with hair-thin solar cells that cover the top of the plane. They then power the aircraft overnight, but became overheated.

The team said it had miscalculated the extent of the temperature increases and amount of insulation that would be needed for the tropical climate encountered on the ascent from Nagoya.

That aside, flight controllers and the pilot managed to successfully complete the Japan-to-Hawaii leg, shattering the 76-hour record for a nonstop solo flight set in 2006 by the late American adventurer Steve Fossett in the Virgin Atlantic Global Flyer.

Solar Impulse 2's journey, which began in March 2015, is divided into 13 segments. Two pilots take turns to man the single-seater craft.

The next leg of its journey will be a four-day trip to Phoenix, Arizona later this month. Then it's across North America to Europe, with the journey finishing in Abu Dhabi this summer.