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US Solar Plane on Last Leg of Cross-Country Flight

Solar Impulse is prepared for second leg of the 2013 Across America mission, Phoenix, Arizona, May 22, 2013.
A solar-powered aircraft is on the last leg of its cross-country trip over the United States.

The experimental Solar Impulse took off from a suburban Washington airport before daybreak Saturday, heading to New York and passing over the Statue of Liberty before a planned landing early Sunday at John F. Kennedy International Airport.

Pilot Andre Borschberg, flying at a top speed of 72 kilometers an hour, reported, "The flight is going great."

Borschberg headed east from Washington, flying over the picturesque Chesapeake Bay at an altitude of about two-and-a-half kilometers, before heading north toward New York. The plane is powered by about 11,000 solar cells.

The Solar Impulse started its path across the country in San Francisco in early May and made stopovers in four other American cities before Washington. The experimental flight is a test for a planned 2015 flight around the Earth with a more powerful version of the aircraft.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.