Solar powered plane to return to skies

Anmar Frangoul | Special to

Solar Impulse 2, the solar-powered aircraft, is set to return to the skies in mid-April to complete its round-the-world trip, pilot and founder André Borschberg told CNBC on Thursday.

The aircraft has been grounded in Hawaii since last summer after suffering "irreversible damage to overheated batteries."

"We had a problem with the batteries, we overheated them," Borschberg, speaking at the Young Presidents' Organization EDGE event in Dubai, added.

"It's… [not a] problem with the technology – the technology works very well – but we decided to change them, not to take any risks, so now we are ready."

The overall goal of the mission is to fly around the world using solar power. The plane has the wing span of a Boeing 747 and over 17,000 solar cells.

Last year, Borschberg piloted the plane from Nagoya in Japan to Hawaii in a mammoth 117 hour trip.

Looking to the flight next month, Borschberg said that the next destination would depend on weather conditions.

"It's extremely difficult to plan where we'll be heading for, it can be LA, it can be San Francisco, it can be Phoenix, everything is open."