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Solar Powered Plane on Final Leg of Flight to NYC

A solar-powered aircraft has lifted off from a suburban Washington airport, embarking on the final leg of a history-making cross-country flight.

The Solar Impulse flew out of Dulles International Airport a little before 5 a.m. Saturday en route to New York City. The flight plan for the revolutionary plane takes it past the Statue of Liberty before landing at New York’s JFK Airport early Sunday.

The aircraft, powered by some 11,000 solar cells, soars to 30,000 feet while poking along at a top speed of 45 mph. The Solar Impulse left San Francisco in early May and has made stopovers in Phoenix, Dallas-Fort Worth, St. Louis, Cincinnati and Dulles.

The cross-country flight is a tune-up for a planned 2015 flight around the globe with an up-graded version of the plane.

[Associated Press]

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