Solar-power plane completes 18-hour flight across US

By REUTERS
July 7, 2013 06:53

 
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An airplane entirely powered by the sun touched down in New York City late on Saturday, completing the final leg of an epic journey across the United States that began over two months ago.

The Solar Impulse, its four propellers driven by energy collected from 12,000 solar cells in its wings to charge batteries for night use, landed at John F. Kennedy Airport at 11:09 P.M. EDT, organizers said.

The experimental aircraft had left Dulles International Airport outside Washington for its last leg more than 18 hours earlier, on a route that took it north over Maryland, Delaware and New Jersey.

The spindly aircraft had been expected to land in the early hours of Sunday, but the project team decided to shorten the flight after an 8-foot (2.5 meter) tear appeared on the underside of the left wing.

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