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Solar Plane Lifts Off for New York City
PHOTO: The Solar Impulse takes flight from Phoenix airport

A solar-powered plane lifted off from Washington, D.C. in the final leg of its significant cross-country flight to New York City early this morning.

The Solar Impulse took off from Dulles International Airport just before 5 a.m. Saturday. It was anticipated to soar over Maryland, Delaware, past Atlantic City, N.J., and by the Statue of Liberty before landing at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport early Sunday morning, The Associated Press reported.

The plane's estimated time of arrival in New York is around 2 a.m., according to its website. André Borschberg, the Solar Impulse's pilot, will not guide the plane to climb to more than 10,000 feet during its journey to the Big Apple.

It if completes its trip as planned, Solar Impulse will be the first solar-powered plane capable of flying day and night across the United States without fuel, according to its website.

"This is a leg where everybody is quite moved," Bertrand Piccard, who took turns with Borschberg in flying the Solar Impulse across the United States, told the AP.

Despite the fact that the flight is only 227 miles, the plane can only go as fast as 45 mph, the AP reported. As a result, the solar plane is required to travel when air traffic is negligible.

Following its historic flight, the plane will be open to the public July 13 and 14 at JFK Airport, the Solar Impulse's website said.

The Solar Impulse's journey started in San Francisco in early May and has stopped along the way in Phoenix, Dallas-Forth Worth, St. Louis, Cincinnati, and Dulles.

The cross-country trip is in preparation for a planned 2015 flight around the world, according to the AP.

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