Solar powered plane finishes journey, lands in NYC

Solar powered plane finishes journey, lands in NYC

NEW YORK - The Associated Press
Solar powered plane finishes journey, lands in NYC

Solar Impulse is seen at JFK airport in New York July 6, 2013. The 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. REUTERS/Eric Thayer

A solar-powered aircraft has completed a history-making cross-country flight, landing at New York’s JFK airport.

The Solar Impulse flew out of Dulles International Airport in Washington a little before 5 a.m. on July 6 en route to New York City and landed shortly after 11 p.m. local time.

An unexpected tear was found on the left wing of the revolutionary plane earlier Saturday, forcing the aircraft to land three hours ahead of schedule. Officials said neither the pilot nor aircraft appeared to be in danger.

The accelerated schedule forced flight officials to scrap a planned fly-by past the Statue of Liberty and head straight to JFK.

The aircraft, powered by some 11,000 solar cells, soars to 30,000 feet (9,140 meters) while poking along at a top speed of 45 mph (72 kph). The Solar Impulse left San Francisco in early May and has made stopovers in Phoenix, Dallas-Fort Worth, St. Louis, Cincinnati and Dulles.