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SFGate.com : Solar-powered plane lands near Washington

WASHINGTON (AP) — A solar-powered plane nearing the close of a cross-continental journey landed at Dulles International Airport outside the nation’s capital early Sunday, only one short leg to New York remaining on a voyage that opened in May.

Solar Impulse’s website said the aircraft with its massive wings and thousands of photovoltaic cells “gracefully touched down” at 12:15 a.m. EDT after 14 hours and four minutes of flight from Cincinnati, Ohio, to Dulles in Washington’s Virginia suburbs.

Pilot Bertrand Piccard was at the controls for the last time on the multi-leg “Across America” journey that began May 3 in San Francisco. His fellow Swiss pilot, Andre Borschberg, is expected to fly the last leg from Washington to New York City’s John F. Kennedy International Airport in early July, the web site added.

It’s the first bid by a solar plane capable of being airborne day and night without fuel to fly across the U.S, at speeds reaching about 40 mph. The plane opened by flying from San Francisco via Arizona, Texas, Missouri and Ohio onward to Dulles with stops of several days in cities along the way.

More http://m.sfgate.com/sfchron/db_41685/contentdetail.htm?contentguid=T70weJvi

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