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Solar plane leaves Calif. on cross-country trip

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 3, 2013 at 8:34 pm •  Published: May 3, 2013
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MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (AP) — A solar-powered airplane left Northern California on Friday for the first leg of a planned cross-country trip that its co-pilot described as a "milestone" in aviation history.

The Solar Impulse — considered the world's most-advanced sun-powered plane — left Moffett Field in Mountain View just after dawn. Its creators said the trip is the first attempt by a solar airplane capable of flying day and night without fuel to fly across America.

It plans to land at Sky Harbor airport in Phoenix, Dallas-Fort Worth airport in Texas, Lambert-St. Louis airport, Dulles airport in the Washington area and New York's John F. Kennedy airport. Each flight leg will take about 19 to 25 hours, with 10-day stops in each city.

"All the big pioneers of the 20th century have tried to fly coast to coast across America," said co-pilot and one of the plane's founders, Bertrand Piccard. "So now today we're trying to do this, but on solar power with no fuel with the first airplane that is able to fly day and night just on solar power."

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