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Solar plane damaged by heat, won't fly until August

A solar-powered plane has been grounded by damaged batteries for at least a few weeks after completing its record-breaking five-day journey from Japan to Hawaii.

The Solar Impulse 2's team says the batteries were over-insulated and became overheated on day one of the Japan-Hawaii leg.

The team said Saturday that it monitored the situation throughout the flight. But in a statement, the organizers said there was no way to decrease the temperature for the remaining duration of the flight, since each day the plane was required to ascend 28,000 feet and descend as part of its energy management plan.

The plane won't fly before the beginning of August as the team works to replace and repair damaged parts.

The plane landed in Hawaii on July 3 after completing a 118-hour voyage that organizers claim broke the record for the world's longest nonstop solo flight. The Solar Impulse 2 is next headed to Phoenix as part of an around-the-world flight meant to highlight the importance of renewable energy.

The battery problems are the latest setback for the plane, which had been stuck in Japan for a month due to poor weather before it flew nearly five days and five nights to Hawaii. It was the longest leg of what is scheduled to be an around-the-world flight that began in Abu Dhabi March 9 and is expected to take more than five months.

Before Japan, the plane was also marooned in China for several weeks due to bad weather.

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